Chinese firm Zhenhua Data has been collecting data on prominent Czechs, reports Aktuálně.cz

Profiles of about 700 prominent Czechs have been uncovered in the data leak from the Chinese firm

ČTK

Written by ČTK
Published on 16.09.2020 13:00 (updated on 16.09.2020)

Prague, Sept 16 (CTK) – The Chinese firm Zhenhua Data Technology has collected detailed profiles of roughly 700 prominent Czechs, Aktuálně.cz writes today, adding that the profiles belong to a large document about important Western personalities that has been leaked from the company.

The list contains profiles of not only prominent people, such as politicians, diplomats, intelligence service officers, and businessmen, but also their children, as well as some institutions.

The affair is being investigated by the Czech civilian counter-intelligence service (BIS).

Zhenhua Data Technology called itself a pioneer in data usage for the purpose of hybrid wars, the company wrote on its already-removed website.

“Currently, we are analyzing the data, so it is too early to comment on the content. Should China collect data about Czechs of interest to the country, it would be only logical if my name is on the list, too,” BIS director Michal Koudelka told the server.

This is more proof that Chinese intelligence services are trying to gather information, regardless of its form, he added.

“This is a risk we have been warning of for a long time,” Koudelka said.

Among the clients of Zhenhua is also the Chinese military. The company’s system has been matching “people of interest” with the links to their respective social network profiles. Moreover, it has taken pictures of them, analyzed their comments on social networks, gathered press reviews of their actions, and monitored their relationships.

The leaked database contains, for example, information about the British royal family members and UK PM Boris Johnson.

Regarding the Czech Republic, President Miloš Zeman, Defence Minister Lubomír Metnar (for ANO), incumbent Culture Minister and former foreign minister Lubomír Zaorálek (Social Democrats, CSSD), Koudelka and senior government ANO deputy chairman Jaroslav Faltýnek feature among the profiles contained in the database.

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The data from Zhenhua’s server was leaked to Western media via a Chinese whistle-blower. It seems that the about 700 Czech names make up just a fraction of the potential total; so far, about 250,000 pieces of personal information, out of a total of 2.4 million, have been recovered.

Zhenhua has yet to answer questions asked by a consortium of journalists dealing with the affair. In reaction to the interest provoked by the affair, it has shut its website down.

The company has monitored many incumbent and former Czech senators and deputies, such as chairwoman of the lover house defense committee Jana Černochová (Civic Democrats, ODS), former defence minister Robert Pelikán and former Government Office and Presidential Office analytical department chief Radek Augustin. Following persons are on the list, too: former Interior Ministry state secretary Josef Postránecký, Czech anti-trust office (UOHS) vice-chair Petr Solský and Karla Petrová from the Radiation Protection Department of the State Office for Nuclear Safety.

Czech PM Andrej Babiš is among the profiles that have not yet been recovered.

The firm has closely watched institutions, such as embassies in the Czech Republic, the Police Academy, the Health Ministry, the Czech Academy of Sciences (AV CR), the Czech Technical University (CVUT) and the NATO Permanent Representative’s Office in the Czech Republic.

Allegedly, Zhenhua has also details about the junior government Social Democrats and the mobile operator O2, writes Aktuálně.cz.