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Cybersecurity experts warn China’s Communist Party ‘can spy on citizens’ through its free news and messaging app which has been downloaded by more than 100million people

Daily Mail [1]
October 16, 2019

A mobile app promoted by the Chinese Communist Party could be a gateway for the government to spy on its citizens, cybersecurity experts have warned.

The app, which provides news and messaging services, was made mandatory for all 90million communist party members and has been downloaded by even more.

It allows users to read reports from Chinese state media, carry out video chats and send virtual gifts to friends.

But experts have warned that President Xi Jinping’s government may be able to access users’ phones and monitor them without their knowledge.

Released by China’s central propaganda department on January 1, the app is called ‘Study (Xi) Strong Country’ (学习强国), a wordplay on President Xi’s family name, which can also mean ‘study’ in Chinese.

Its main function was thought to be the promotion of Xi Jinping Thought, the ideology of the most powerful leader of China since Chairman Mao.

But now it has been revealed to be capable of spying on its users’ activity, the BBC reported [2].

Analysis by German cyber security team Cure 53 found the app had ‘hidden’ monitoring functions and gave officials ‘super-user’ access.

Cure 53 said the encryption used for data inside the app was weak and could easily be accessed by people other than the owner of the phone.

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