Shanghai’s Public Security Bureau has a dataset containing detailed personal information on 1.1 million people, including nearly 700 American citizens, according to a new report.
Detailed data on 697 Americans, some as young as 3 years old, are included in a leaked database containing information on more than 5,000 foreign citizens and analyzed by Internet 2.0, an Australian-based cybersecurity firm.
The data includes “full names, birth data, and passport numbers, which were captured as the individuals were entering and leaving Shanghai from 2018 to 2020.” This information was stored on the server of the Shanghai Public Security Bureau, which answers to the Ministry of State Security, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) central government’s top intelligence agency.
The database contains information also on 172 Canadians, 161 Australians, and numerous travelers from other Asian countries (such as Taiwan). Three of the people are diplomatic passport holders.
While the database is not “exhaustive,” Robert Potter and David Robinson of Internet 2.0 say it is a “small, but highly detailed window into the surveillance state of China.” The Australian Broadcasting Corp were the first to report on the database.
The database further included “a blacklist containing 10,000 people tagged as ‘suspected terrorists,’ composed of 93 percent Uyghurs. Thousands of them got flagged for accessing the internet.”
Hundreds of the other people on the watchlist have “access to dangerous chemicals, drugs, or materials for making explosives.” About half of the latter group are employees at foreign firms or joint ventures, such as “U.S. manufacturing giant 3M, Kansas-based chemical firm Invista, and Japanese carmaker Mitsubishi.”
Other records from the Jinshan district around Shanghai’s harbor reveal that CCP officials use surveillance cameras for the purpose of tracking individuals “in real time.” This includes recording, whenever possible, the individuals’ movements and even their car registration details.
Local level data are then merged into one system, according to Internet 2.0, “to further the surveillance state.”
Michael Shoebridge, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s defense director, told the Epoch Times that this database leak shows just how much “leverage” the CCP possesses when seeking to target any individual who gets on the wrong side of the government.
A US State Department spokesperson responded to the Epoch Times, expressing awareness of the leak and saying they are “following (the reports) closely.”
The spokesperson added, “The safety and welfare of U.S. citizens abroad is the top priority of the U.S. Department of State.”