Collaboration in Chinese enforcement yields results

News on 21 Dec 2017

Collaborative efforts by Chinese government enforcement agencies along with a major internet company announced last year have been delivering results, according to local media reports, quoting officials and revealing that 150 major online criminal cases have been solved, involving the arrest of 3,500 individuals.

The Ministry of Public Security said Wednesday that task teams have involved the giant Chinese online technology and entertainment company Tencent, the Internet Society of China, and specialised teams from various government ministries and departments.

Targets for the enforcement teams have been spamming outfits, ID thieves, online fraudsters and extortionists and telecomm scams, the ministry said.

Cheng Cheng, a security specialist from Tencent, explained her company’s cooperation with the enforcement authorities, saying:

“In recent years, those illegally benefiting from purchasing others’ personal information, online telecom fraud and blackmail have been seen frequently, which prompted us to take more responsibility as the internet operator.

“To effectively fight such crimes, we set up a program to do online data analysis in April 2016 and joined hands with governmental departments to reduce residents’ economic losses,” she said.

In March, for example, the ministry marshalled police officers in 14 regions, including Beijing and Anhui, Henan and Liaoning provinces, to solve a major case using the company’s data collection and analysis.

As a result 96 people were arrested and charged with stealing or selling and buying 5 billion items of residents’ addresses and phone numbers, as well as medical, social and bank account information.

The ministry said that other targets include illegal online gambling.

Zhong Zhong, deputy director of the ministry’s Cybersecurity Bureau, characterised the collaboration as “clouding governance”, noting it is an innovation in fighting online fraud and drug-related cases.

“Using big data can make our crackdowns more accurate and effective, as well as reduce cost in law enforcement,” he said.

Lu Wei, secretary-general of the Internet Society of China, said the cooperation contributes to developments in cyberspace.

“Technology and internet enterprises should play a role in improving online legal protection and increase studies on technical skills,” he said, suggesting they share information with judicial authorities and strengthen self-discipline.

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