US Department of Justice reportedly charged a 39-year-old China-based employee at Zoom, Xinjiang Jin, to secretly shut down at least four video meetings during the 31st-anniversary event Tiananmen Square 1989 protests.
As the BBC reported, a warrant for Jin's arrest is now out. He has been charged with "conspiracy to commit interstate harassment and unlawful conspiracy to transfer a means of identification." Despite the meetings being host by and for Americans, the alleged reportedly conspired to censor individuals' political and religious speech.
According to the complaint filed by Brooklyn federal prosecutors, Jin, also known as Julien Jin, served as Zoom's primary liaison with PRC law enforcement and intelligence service. While serving as a "security technical leader" at Zoom, Jin allegedly used his position to target activists both inside and outside of China.
Even worse, Jin reportedly tried to drive the Tiananmen Square anniversary event participants to believe that they're violating Zoom's safety conduct. Zoom has apologized for the inconvenience and fired Jin from his position.
Earlier in September 2019, the Chinese government has reportedly tried shutting down the teleconferencing app with no warning. China requested Zoom to comply with Chinese law, including "shutting down certain types of political, religious, and sexually explicit images."
Luckily, the data which has been harvested remains safe, and Zoom reassures that it never reached the Chinese government's hands.
"Our investigation shows that this data was anonymized, and at this time we do not have reason to believe that it was shared with the Chinese government," Zoom says in a statement.
Zoom then launched and end-to-end encryption for free and paid users worldwide to ensure their data's safety. Besides, the company also restricted China-based employees to access Zoom's global production network.
What Happened At Tiananmen Square In 1998?
Millions of pro-democracy protesters swarmed Tiananmen Square from April to June 1989 and took part in its history's most enormous political demonstration. The death of a high-ranking politician, inflation, corruption, and economic downfall accumulated into one and peaked during this tragedy.
June 3rd became a bloody massacre day when tanks started to move, and troops opened fire, injuring and killing many unarmed civilians in the Square. In 2014, the government reportedly arrested dozens of people planning to hold events in commemorating the tragedy.
Although the Chinese government has been vehemently denying the accusation and has never released an official number of victims, experts estimated the death toll to reach at least up to 3,400 people.
Even worse, reports show that China's youth barely know anything about the Tiananmen Square massacre or find it taboo to talk about. History textbooks barely mention anything about the violence that cost hundreds and thousands of lives, let alone spreading awareness about it.