Chinese Military Developing Mobile Phone App that Spies on its Soldiers
The People's Liberation Army (PLA) is developing a "magical" smartphone app that alerts authorities if ordinary soldiers reveal sensitive information over their smartphones, or use their phones during "blackouts" or times when smartphone use is banned.
How an app can achieve these incredible and magical feats wasn't explained by news stories in Chinese state-controlled media.
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These stories, however, do seem to confirm all members of the PLA are under surveillance, and the PLA has an eavesdropping system in place that intercepts and records all the text messages and voice conversations made by PLA members. There are 2.3 million active members of the PLA.
The app is apparently triggered when certain keywords are either spoken or typed.
Chinese state-controlled media revealed this magical software is a "mobile phone surveillance platform" first used by the People's Liberation Army Rocket Force (PLARF) to better regulate smartphone use in its ranks.
The PLA Daily, the official newspaper of the PLA, said the software can be installed or uninstalled remotely. The software can also ban access to specified websites; set restrictions on communication hours and screen for sensitive words.
The software wants to create a "safe space for soldiers to surf the internet," said the story in the PLA Daily.
The new software automatically alerts authorities if it detects any violations of internet use. It's also capable of tracking every user's telephone number and cellphone model.
The software, however, is still being tested but will be installed on all mobile phones of PLA members when it becomes operational.
The software aims to better enforce management of mobile phone use among soldiers, as well as address fears of confidential information leaks.