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Personal data of Chinese celebrities leaked on Twitter

wikileaks, twitterleaks

For a few brief hours this week, China had its own answer to WikiLeaks: a mysterious Twitter account that posted the personal information of dozens of the country's most prominent people, including billionaires and even the architect of the country's Internet controls.

在本周的短短几个小时里,中国有了自己的维基解密(WikiLeaks):一个神秘的Twitter账号公布了中国几十个名人的个人信息,包括亿万富翁,甚至还有中国互联网管控的缔造者。

The account @shenfenzheng — which means "personal identification" in Chinese — was suspended by Twitter on Thursday afternoon, making its posts no longer available. Before it was suspended, the account was used to post photographs and screenshots containing personal information including addresses, national identification numbers, educational attainment and marital status of well-known Chinese.

周四下午,Twitter冻结了@shenfenzheng这个账号,导致网友无法再看到相关发帖。被冻结前,该账号发布了多张包含个人信息的照片和屏幕截图,包括相关名人的住址、身份证号、受教育水平和婚姻状况。

Among them were the two richest people in mainland China, Jack Ma, the chairman of the Internet giant Alibaba Group, and Wang Jianlin, the chairman of Dalian Wanda Group, a real estate company.

其中包括中国大陆最富有的互联网巨头阿里巴巴集团董事局主席马云,和房地产公司大连万达集团董事长王健林。

It was not clear who controlled the account, or whether that person was inside or outside China. If inside, the person had the technical means to overcome the country's so-called Great Firewall, which blocks Twitter. The person, or people, appear to view China's Internet controls with some disdain: One of the identification cards posted by @shenfenzheng was purported to be that of Fang Binxing, known as the architect of the Great Firewall.

尚不清楚是谁控制着这个账号,以及此人是在国内还是国外。如果在国内,则此人在技术上有办法越过屏蔽Twitter的"防火长城"。该账户的所有者似乎对中国的互联网管控有一些鄙视:@shenfenzheng公布的其中一张身份证的主人,据称是被称作"防火长城"缔造者的方滨兴。

In mainland China, buying and disseminating personal information is against the law, and violators can face three to seven years in jail and fines, according to a statute passed last year by the National People's Congress. But thousands, if not millions, of people have access to the national police database that contains such information, and if they do not, they may know someone who does.

根据全国人民代表大会去年通过的一项法律,在中国大陆,购买和散布个人信息是违法的,违反相关规定者可能会被处以三到七年有期徒刑和罚款。但能访问包含这类信息的全国警用数据库的人,没有上百万也就几十万。就算自己无权访问该数据库,他们也可能认识有访问权限的人。

"Surprised by these tidbits of information?" @shenfenzheng posted before the account was suspended. "I hope this can get fellow countrymen thinking. Personal privacy is worth nothing in China."

"很惊讶这点信息吗? "@shenfenzheng在账号被封前说。"希望能引起国人的思考,个人隐私在中国根本不值钱。"

The goal of @shenfenzheng appears to be to draw attention to the illegal selling of personal information in China, a widespread practice. Private investigators can buy troves of personal data to obtain information on companies or individuals. Others abuse the online national police files for more prosaic reasons, like planning class reunions.

@shenfenzheng的目的似乎是引起对非法出售个人信息行为的关注。在中国,这种现象颇为普遍。私人调查者可以购买大量个人数据,以掌握和公司或个人有关的信息。还有一些人则出于一些更普通的原因滥用全国警用在线档案,比如策划同学聚会。

In the United States, nine-digit Social Security numbers say little about a person, other than perhaps the region where they lived when they applied for a card.

在美国,九位社会安全号码除了能显示持有人申请该卡时所在的地区外,几乎透露不了一个人的任何信息。

In mainland China, national identity numbers contain far more information in its 18 digits, including sex, birth date and the province, city and even neighborhood of a person's legal residence. Those numbers, despite the tough new law, can sometimes be found on websites of government agencies, like theState Administration of Industry and Commerce.

在中国大陆,身份证号包含的信息远多于它的18位数字,包括性别、出生日期和一个人的法定住所所在的省、市甚至街区。尽管新出台的法律颇为严厉,但有时候依然能在国家工商行政管理总局这种政府机构的网站上看到这些数字。

There are other ways to legally obtain such numbers. Chinese citizens who are directors in companies registered in Hong Kong often provide their home addresses and national identification card numbers on publicly available documents found on the city'sonline company registry.

还可以通过其他方式,合法获得这类数字。中国公民在注册地为香港的公司担任董事时,通常需要在对外公开的文件上提供自己的家庭住址和身份证号。在香港的网上查册中心便可看到这些文件。

Reporters who investigate the business interests of China's politically powerful families — and the billionaires who court them — use identification numbers to "bulletproof" their articles, giving them a vital level of certainty difficult to obtain in a country where more than 90 million people share the same last name, Wang.

记者在调查中国政治势力的强大家族,以及调查巴结这些家族的亿万富翁的商业利益时,会用身份证号作为报道的"防弹衣",给报道一种至关重要的确凿性。在中国这个姓王的人超过9000万的国家,做到确凿是颇为困难的。

The New York Times was able to verify the accuracy of the identification numbers of several of the people exposed by the @shenfenzheng account, including Mr. Wang; his wife, Lin Ning; his son, Wang Sicong; and Mr. Ma of Alibaba.

《纽约时报》能够核实@shenfenzheng曝光的其中几人的身份证号的准确性,包括王健林、其妻林宁、其子王思聪以及阿里巴巴的马云。

The Chinese Public Security Bureau did not respond to a fax asking whether the agency was concerned about the security of its online database and, if it is, what measures it might take to control leaks. News about the online leak was reported earlier byBloomberg News.

记者给中国公安机关发传真,询问其是否担心自己的在线数据库的安全,以及如果担心的话可能会采取什么措施控制泄密,但对方未回复。早前,彭博新闻社(Bloomberg News)报道过网络泄密问题。

Twitter did not respond to a request for comment.

Twitter未回复记者的置评请求。

Twitter prohibits the posting of personal information such as national identification numbers. Accounts that violate that policy can be temporarily blocked or permanently suspended, according to rules on the company's website.

Twitter禁止发布身份证号这样的个人信息。根据该公司网站上的规定,违反这项政策的账号可能会被暂时或永久性冻结。

2016-06-22

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