DH Toon | Is the Great Wall in China 'spying' on aliens? 'Extraterrestrial' beings fear
A Shenzen-based tech firm is monitoring over 10,000 individuals and organisations, including the Indian Prime Minister and President, across the world, according to multiple media reports.
According to a copy of the database that was left unsecured on the Internet and retrieved by an Australian cybersecurity consultancy, China's Zhenhua Data Information Technology Co, which has ties with the Chinese government, and the country's Communist Party, has stocked a global database of "foreign targets".
Amid reports of the snooping on some Indian leaders, the Indian government had taken up the issue with the Chinese envoy, according to a letter by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to Congress leader K C Venugopal.
Jaishankar in his letter said that in their statement, a representative of Shenzen Zhenhua has stated that the data collected was from open sources and is no different from its peer organisations in western countries. The minister said they have denied accessing private information from confidential sources.
Video-sharing app TikTok said on Saturday it has already committed to the US government oversight of data security in the country, and that it was "disappointed" by the Trump administration's decision to ban it from US app stores from Sunday. US Commerce Department officials said they were taking the extraordinary step because of the risks posed by the apps' collection of data. China and the companies have denied user data is collected for spying.