“Politicians and their families, diplomats, academics, business executives, fraudsters, judges and a sportswoman are among New Zealanders profiled in a massive Chinese intelligence database.
Stuff has gained access to the “Overseas Key Individuals Database”, which is claimed to include personal details of more than 2 million people across the world, and was collated by a Chinese data intelligence company which has been linked to Beijing’s state intelligence apparatus.
The sweeping data collection of, primarily, publicly available information includes more than 730 New Zealanders and is part of a broader effort described by an intelligence official as “a global mass surveillance system on an unprecedented scale” that could be used for political influence campaigns.”
“Profiling the ‘human terrain’
Zhenhua Data describes itself as an open source data intelligence focused on “the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation”.
THOMAS MANCH • POLITICAL REPORTER
Articles from the company’s website, now taken down from the internet, talk about conducting “hybrid warfare” and using social media to spread rumour and influence public opinion.
Zhenhua claims to have started in September 2017, and was seeking various employees including customer sales reps to sell services to “party, government and military”, and a writer that could “grasp all the information of the propaganda object…”
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