Tech giant, online sleuths team up

Updated 2017-12-21 11:00:20 China Daily

Chinese police have enhanced their capability to fight online crimes, especially those involving personal information, during the past year with the help of a national technology giant, a report said on Wednesday.

Starting this year, public security departments nationwide solved nearly 150 new types of online crime and detained about 3,500 suspects, thanks to cooperation from Tencent, the tech and internet company, according to the report jointly released by the Ministry of Public Security, the company and the Internet Society of China.

Last year, police in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, clamped down with the company's assistance on 21 workshops using almost 150,000 pieces of personal information to send spam.

"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," said Cheng Cheng, a security specialist from Tencent.

"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 arranged police officers in 14 regions, including Beijing and Anhui, Henan and Liaoning provinces, to solve a big case using the company's data collection and analysis. Authorities arrested 96 people accused of stealing and purchasing about 5 billion pieces of residents' addresses and phone numbers, as well as medical, social and bank account information.

Meanwhile, crimes in the industries of online gambling or games also are emerging and taken as the major targets in the fight, according to the company.

Zhong Zhong, deputy director of the ministry's Cybersecurity Bureau, named such a cooperative fight 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, the internet society's secretary-general, said the cooperation also will contribute 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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