For a very brief few hours, Chinese government’s security information was breached in what seem to be another version of WikiLeaks.
Image shows the suspended Twitter account.
A Twitter account which has been suspended at this moment published personal information of dozens of the country’s most prominent people. Government officials, business moguls, celebrities and most surprisingly, even the architect of the country’s Internet controls had his data exposed.
The account @shenfenzheng — which means “personal identification” in Chinese — was suspended by Twitter on Thursday afternoon. The posts and every previously leaked data in the account are no longer available.
Reports confirm that the said Twitter account has existed for a long time with little attention until this latest post. The account was used to post photographs and screenshots containing personal information, residential addresses, office and business locations, national identification numbers, educational qualifications and marital status of famous Chinese people.
In the latest security information leaks, two billionaire business moguls in mainland China were involved – Jack Ma (the chairman of the Internet giant Alibaba Group), and Wang Jianlin (the chairman of Dalian Wanda Group, a real estate company).
It remains unclear who controlled the suspicious Twitter account and the location of the owner(s).
China has bans placed on social media networks like Google, Facebook, Twitter and more. With this censorship in mind, it is possible that if the perpetrators of the punishable act are not resident China. It is also possible that the person who controlled the suspended Twitter account has the knowledge or rather, technical means to bypass the so-called China’s Great Firewall.
Image shows a Chinese government office.
The data leak incident becomes very interesting for the fact that Fang Binxing, the person known as the architect of the Great Firewall had his data leaked. This goes a long way to show that the person, or people in question appear to view China’s Internet controls with some hatred.
According to a statute passed last year by the National People’s Congress, buying and disseminating personal information is against the law, and violators can face three to seven years in jail and fines.
It is an open secret that, with disregard for the laws, millions of Chinese people have access to the national police database that contains such information. Anyone who doesn’t have such access will surely know someone who does.
There are adverts on almost every street corner seeking interested clients who might need cloned certificates from different government offices with original signatures and stamps.
Image shows a group of Chinese government officials arriving for a meeting.
“Surprised by these tidbits of information?” @shenfenzheng posted before the account was suspended. “I hope this can get fellow countrymen thinking. Personal privacy is worth nothing in China.”
The Chinese government has probably launched a manhunt against the person responsible for its security breach.