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Chinese cyber agency detains 59 over illegal camera voyeurism

Chinese cyber agency detains 59 over illegal camera voyeurism
The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) announced on Monday that dozens of people have been arrested and 25,000 illegally hacked webcams seized as part of a crackdown on illegal voyeurism in the Asian nation.

In a statement, the cybersecurity watchdog announced the detention of 59 suspects who had allegedly used camera-cracking software to illegally control webcams, eavesdropping on individuals and engaging in illicit activity. 

The CAC, together with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Ministry of Public Security, and State Administration of Market Regulation, initiated the crackdown on more than 4,000 online accounts and 132 groups, finding 22,000 illegal or harmful posts.

In order to prevent further violations, the CAC, alongside the relevant ministries, ordered digital agencies to improve their inspection and screening processes to identify and fix vulnerabilities that could lead to secure networks being compromised.

Digital platforms, including Alibaba’s UC Browser, Baidu, and Tencent, were among the Chinese providers ordered to ensure their services are “cleaned up” following the discovery of thousands of pieces of voyeuristic content on their sites, according to the CAC. Tech companies have been given a one-month deadline to “complete comprehensive rectification.”

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Similarly, e-commerce sites, such as Alibaba’s Taobao, JD.com and Xianyu, took 1,600 cameras offline that had been illegally sold or offered to perpetrators potentially engaging in malicious activity, according to the CAC’s statement.

The CAC’s announcement of the crackdown on illegal voyeurism was paired with a warning from Chinese officials that further illicit behavior will be met with a “strong response” from authorities acting to protect “citizens’ personal privacy.”

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