With COVID-19 as a backdrop, millions of Americans have increasingly turned to Zoom conferencing as an easy and inexpensive means of communication. Everything from cocktail parties to board of trustee meetings are taking place on the leader in video conferencing by the thousands every day. However, like so much technology these days, the Chinese have their fingerprints all over Zoom for nefarious reasons.
Go Ahead, Plug Your Ears Now
On Friday, Dec. 18, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York charged a former Zoom executive Xinjiang Jin aka Julien Jin, with “conspiracy to commit interstate harassment and unlawful conspiracy to transfer a means of identification.” That’s legalese for – pick-a-first name Jin is now wanted by the FBI for doing some unbelievably bad things to former Chinese dissidents who now live in the United States.
If convicted, Mr. Jin could get up to 10 years in prison, but that’s not likely as he is based in China, and federal authorities would be hard-pressed to get their hands on him. What did he do to earn himself a place on the FBI’s wanted list? Plenty.
Jin reported to the communist Chinese party regularly, handed over private information to the PRC, and even went so far as to cut off video conferences for meetings considered “unacceptable to the Chinese Communist Party,” according to the Washington Examiner. The DOJ complaint puts it this way: “between January 2019 to the present, Jin and others conspired to use Company-1’s systems in the United States to censor the political and religious speech of individuals located in the United States and around the world at the direction … of officials of the PRC government.” The Zoom executive ended four or more video meetings held in honor of the 35th anniversary of Tiananmen Square events.
For its part, Zoom officials say Jin was fired, and several others were placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation. But perhaps more troubling is understanding the executive make-up of the mega-tech giant. Zoom’s billionaire CEO Eric Yuan was born in communist China but has since relocated to California’s Silicon Valley. Who’s to say Yuan is not in on the fix with the PRC?
A significant amount of troubling news regarding the Chinese use of technology to infiltrate the U.S. has made headlines of late. This includes — but is not limited to — the gathering of American DNA information, a leaked list of 2 million CCP spies operating in Western countries, and questions about the app TikTok regarding the mining of private data. Meanwhile, back at the U.S. House of Representatives comes news that Congressman Eric Swalwell (D-CA) has cozied up to suspected Chinese spy Fang-Fang. Swalwell sits on the House Intelligence Committee.
Liberty Nation’s Washington Political Columnist, Tim Donner, was asked about the political implications of what has the look and smell of a massive Chinese infiltration in the United States:
“This is what happens when you get in bed with an authoritarian regime; You want their market, you play by their rules. But this is actually good because they’ve been outed and less likely to invade privacy for the sake of their asset value, if nothing else. Hell, we’ve known all along how easy it is for these companies to penetrate our privacy. This is the deal we make in return for the amazing technology.”
However, it appears that, more and more, any transaction with the Red Dragon is dubious because when you get close to such a creature, you are likely to get burned.
Read more from Leesa K. Donner.