700 foreigners passing through Shanghai airport between 2018 and 2020 were put on the watch list by China (Artwork: Getty Images)
According to the New York Post, China keeps a watchlist of nearly 700 foreigners, mostly Americans, who passed through the main airport in Shanghai. The list includes government employees, business executives, and even celebrities.
Internet security company 2.0 based in Australia had access to a database of China, discovered a list of the names of 697 US citizens, including some children, used to travel. via Pudong International Airport from 2018 to 2020. The list the company disclosed to the New York Post featured the names of many financial, technology and biometric executives from companies like Apple. , Microsoft, Merrill Lynch and Pfizer. The list also includes the name of Grammy Award-winning singer Ashanti Shequoiya Douglas, who passed through the airport in August 2018.
In addition, the watchlist includes a State Department employee at the Office of International Organizational Affairs, a senior manager at Shanghai New York University, and several other researchers and professors. in US educational institutions.
Australian Internet 2.0 company said that this database gives us “an unprecedented view of how China builds its surveillance system through technology, as well as how they use data. as a means of control ”.
The company’s co-CEO, Robert Potter and David Robinson, added that “This system makes us see China’s ambition to collect whatever it can, impose its will. in their own right and in violation of privacy and accountability rules. ”
The New York Post also noted: “It is not clear why the Americans on the above list of China are ‘tracked’ ‘when passing through the immigration check station at the airport. Experts are also unsure whether the tourists were [on purpose] targeted by [the Chinese government] for inclusion in the database or just scanned during a broader surveillance campaign.
The list includes the majority of Americans, in addition there are 161 Australians, more than 100 British. The Internet 2.0 database accessed also has a blacklist listing thousands of Uighur Muslims who have been interrogated or interrogated, many of whom are considered “terrorists”.
Internet 2.0 asserts, this illustrates “how China blurs the lines between law and order, combating terrorism and political crime”.
Samantha Hoffman of the Australian Institute of Strategic Policy, told ABC Australia that she has seen similar databases: “I have seen evidence that a similar type of system is being developed in other provinces and cities across China in a standardized way. ”
“Although this data displays information for a limited period of time, it shows how foreigners are under Chinese surveillance and can be arrested while they pass through the country, right away. even if that system is not fully set up. ”