The Listening Post

The China Cables: Disrupting Beijing’s Xinjiang narrative

Unprecedented leak of Chinese documents reveals the extent of camps in Xinjiang. Plus, the spyware hacking journalists.

On this episode of The Listening Post: An unprecedented leak of Chinese documents reveals the extent of the camps in Xinjiang. Plus, the spyware that is hacking journalists around the world.

The China Cables and the disruption of Beijing’s Xinjiang narrative

It is one of the biggest human rights stories on the planet: China – specifically the province of Xinjiang – and the estimated one million Uighurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities currently held in massive internment camps there.

Previously, most of what the world knew about Xinjiang came through satellite imagery, carefully controlled official tours of the camps plus the accounts of some of those imprisoned there.

Now, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and the New York Times say they have troves of classified documents to work with – reportedly leaked from within China‘s Communist Party.

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian – International Consortium of Investigative Journalists
Adrian Zenz – Senior Fellow, Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation
Nury Turkel – Chairman & Founder, Uyghur Human Rights Project
Sophie Richardson – China Director, Human Rights Watch

On our radar

Richard Gizbert speaks to producer Flo Phillips about the recent raid on one of Egypt’s last independent news outlets, Mada Masr, and the conflict of interest at Bloomberg News.

Pegasus: Surveilling journalists from inside their phones

Here is an offer many governments cannot refuse: do you want to hack into the phones of journalists, gather every bit of data and trace every call, message and keystroke?

Those governments are in luck, as there is some malware – malicious software – designed specifically for that purpose.

The product is Pegasus, a programme so sophisticated that it can embed into your mobile phone through just a phone call.

The governments using Pegasus – from Saudi Arabia to Mexico to India – say they are out to stop “security threats”, but it is also being used against civil society, including human rights activists.

The Listening Post‘s Meenakshi Ravi looks at the growing surveillance threat against journalists and the malware of choice for the governments involved.

Ron Deibert – Director, The Citizen Lab
Yahya Assiri – Director, ALQST & Diwan
Shubhranshu Choudhary – Founder, Bultoo Radio
Silkie Carlo – Director, Big Brother Watch