China Alerts on Foreign Mapping Firms Using Crypto Rewards for Sensitive Data Collection - Blockchain.News
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China Alerts on Foreign Mapping Firms Using Crypto Rewards for Sensitive Data Collection

The Chinese Ministry of State Security issues a warning about foreign mapping companies using cryptocurrency rewards to encourage unauthorized sensitive geographical data collection in China, posing a threat to national security.


  • Feb 20, 2024 08:16
China Alerts on Foreign Mapping Firms Using Crypto Rewards for Sensitive Data Collection

The Chinese Ministry of State Security (MSS) issued a warning on February 20, 2024, about certain foreign mapping companies engaging in activities that potentially compromise national security. According to Zaobao, these companies incentivize individuals within China to collect sensitive geographical data through the use of specialized equipment and "check-in" activities on maps, in exchange for crypto currency rewards. This practice leads to the unauthorized collection and real-time transmission of sensitive geographical information to servers located outside of China. The MSS highlighted that this activity is particularly concerning when it involves targeted areas, offering high rewards for their data, and thus attracting collectors to these sensitive locations.

The MSS's concern stems from the increasing use of advanced technologies such as big data, which, while improving navigation precision and convenience in daily commutes, also raises the risk of sensitive information leaks. This unauthorized data collection poses a significant threat to national security, as the leaked information, including traffic networks, important infrastructure, and military facilities, could be technically analyzed and processed by foreign entities.

The statement further emphasized the integral role of geographical spatial information data in economic and social development, and the danger it poses once sensitive information is leaked. To counteract this threat, the Chinese national security authorities, in cooperation with relevant departments, are taking measures against both domestic and foreign individuals and enterprises involved in the illegal collection and smuggling of China's sensitive geographical spatial information data. The aim is to prevent the illegal outflow of such data and mitigate the risks associated with data leaks.

Moreover, the MSS clarified that collecting and transmitting geographical spatial information data across borders without the necessary qualifications for mapping services in China might violate various Chinese laws, including the Counter-Espionage Law, the Surveying and Mapping Law, and the Data Security Law. The statement underscores the close link between geographical spatial information data and national security, highlighting the actions being taken to safeguard China's sovereignty, security, and developmental interests from unauthorized and illegal data collection activities by foreign companies and individuals lacking the proper mapping qualifications within China.

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