China Spies on African Union

In a seeming case of Chinese espionage, data has been transferred from servers in the African Union headquarters in Ethiopia to Shanghai for five years at unusual times of the day.

China had built and equipped the African Union headquarters as a gift five years ago, providing the building with all its electronic systems. In January 2017, technicians at the African Union discovered that data transfers from their servers were peaking between midnight and 2 am — when the headquarters building was empty. The data transfers were tracked to an unknown server in Shanghai. The transfers seemed to have been going on every day for five years. An African Union official brushed off the claim saying, “The Chinese have nothing to listen to.” Le Monde and The Intercept, who helped in the investigation, also found evidence of the US National Security Agency and British intelligence had also spied on the African Union. China has strongly denied that it was involved in spying on the African Union.


January 31, 2018

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About the Author

Pramit Pal Chaudhury

Pramit Pal Chaudhuri, Foreign Editor, Hindustan Times, and Distinguished Fellow & Head, Strategic Affairs, Ananta Aspen Centre

Pramit Pal Chaudhuri writes on political, security, and economic issues. He previously wrote for the Statesman and the Telegraph in Calcutta. He served on the National Security Advisory Board of the Indian government from 2011-2015. Among other affiliations, he is a member of the Asia Society Global Council, the Aspen Institute Italia, the International Institute of Strategic Studies, and the Mont Pelerin Society. Pramit is also a senior associate of Rhodium Group, New York City, advisor to the Bower Group Asia in India, a member of the Council on Emerging Markets, Washington, DC, and a delegate for the Confederation of Indian Industry-Aspen Strategy Group Indo-U.S. Strategic Dialogue and the Ananta Aspen Strategic Dialogues with Japan, China and Israel. Born in 1964, he has visited over fifty countries on five continents. Mr. Pal Chaudhuri is a history graduate from Cornell University.