Chinese State secret leaker (seller) sentenced to death

Mathew Sayer In the News

A Chinese man has charged with espionage and sentenced to death for leaking state secrets. Huang Yu, 42, worked at an encryption research institute in Sichuan province from 1997 to 2004. Huang allegedly sold more than 150,000 documents over the course of several years for more than $700,000.

Amongst the documents leaked were 90 “top confidential”, 292 “confidential” and 1,674 “secret” files containing cipher codes for communications. Huang reportedly offered to sell military communication codes online in 2002 and was consequently contacted by foreign intelligence agencies.

When the news came in 2004 that Huang was going to be fired from his job due to poor performance he outsourced the leaking to family members. Huang’s wife, Tang, has been sentenced to five years and his brother-in-law, Tan, received three years on the lesser charges of negligent disclosure of State secrets. In addition to this 29 of Huang’s co-workers faced punishment- although the extent of their involvement remains a mystery. All it takes for evil to somethingsomethingsomething.

“I bought many insurance policies for myself. In the event that I was unable to return from meetings with foreign agents, my family would have a fortune”
(South China Morning Post)

Huang doesn’t appear to be the Chinese version of Snowden, which is unfortunate, and increasingly unlikely as new, sweeping and powerful security laws are implemented in the country.

Social credits

China isn’t shy when it comes to using the data is collects on its citizenry. It gets used daily in the ‘social credit‘ system. This morality metric uses people’s personal details (what they buy, what they watch, their bank balance) to give them a score. This score can be used as a sort of character reference in lieu of monetary deposits on goods and services. Gamification is fun!

Just wait for the Silicon Valley version.

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