Porn laws may be exploited by Chinese to spy on businessmen and civil servants, say think tanks

By Charles Hymas

Chinese spies could exploit Government’s new porn laws to gather compromising material on businessmen, civil servants and public figures, say think tanks.

They say Chinese firms have quietly cornered the market in technology that enables people to access porn sites without having to register their personal details with age verification firms or buy an age ID card in a newsagent.

The new law require those accessing porn sites to prove they are 18 but the checks and registration can be by-passed by signing up to a Virtual Private Network (VPNs).These anonymise the location of a computer by routing its traffic through a server based at remote locations.

It has now emerged through an investigation by security experts that many of the VPNs are secretly controlled by Chinese owned firms – as many as 30 per cent of the networks worldwide.

It means that a VPN users’ viewing habits and data can not only be legally requested by the Chinese Government under its lax privacy laws but the VPNs could themselves also be state-controlled, according to the Adam Smith Institute and Henry Jackson Society.

Sam Armstrong, spokesman for the Henry Jackson Society, said: “A list of billions of late-night website visits of civil servants, diplomats, and politicians could – in the wrong hands – amount to the largest-ever kompromat file compiled on British individuals.

“Those in sensitive jobs are precisely the types of individuals who would seek to use a VPN to circumvent the trip to the newsagent to buy a “porn pass”.

“Yet, the opaque ownership of these VPNs by Chinese firms means there is a real likelihood any browsing going through them could fall into the hands of Chinese intelligence”.

 

Read the full article in The Telegraph

HJS



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