CyberNews Briefs

China Is Forcing Tourists to Install Text-Stealing Malware at its Border

A joint investigation by Motherboard, Süddeutsche Zeitung, the Guardian, the New York Times, and the German public broadcaster NDR has discovered that Chinese authorities are forcing foreign tourists that want to cross certain borders to install data-stealing malware on their phones. The practice occurs at various Chinese borders into the Xinjiang province.

Tourists showing up at the border will have their Android phone seized by border guards, who will then install malware on it that downloads text messages and other information from the device, and conducts a scan for files containing Islamic content and other information deemed suspicious.
According to Maya Wang of Human Rights Watch, the app “provides yet another source of evidence showing how pervasive mass surveillance is being carried out in Xinjiang. We already know that Xinjiang residents—particularly Turkic Muslims—are subjected to round-the-clock and multidimensional surveillance in the region,” but the analysis of the app “suggests that even foreigners are subjected to such mass, and unlawful surveillance.”

Read more: China Is Forcing Tourists to Install Text-Stealing Malware at its Border

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