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PLA has set up Chinese version of 'PRISM' monitoring in H.K.: Kanwa

2014/11/17 20:27:42

Tai Mo Shan, Hong Kong

Hong Kong, Nov. 17 (CNA) The People's Liberation Army (PLA) has established a large-scale signals and information monitoring facility in Hong Kong similar to the U.S. PRISM monitoring program, according to the Canada-based Kanwa Information Center.

In a report obtained by CNA, Kanwa, which publishes a monthly magazine on Asian defense issues, said that intelligence experts have made the findings after observing the facility from the top of Tai Mo Shan, the highest mountain in Hong Kong with a altitude of 950 meters.

The facility was reportedly constructed in 2011.

Satellite photos show that with a diameter of 15.63 meters, the facility is far larger than the aerial fairings of Hong Kong's weather radar and aviation radar, which Kanwa said allows it to intercept and record signals from telephones, cellphones, Wi-Fi networks and radios.

It looks similar to other data mining facilities established in Kashgar in the restive western regions of Xinjiang and Tibet and along the contested border with India, Kanwa said. It is likely manned by the PLA's Unit 61398, the alleged source of China's major cyber attacks, the center said.

"It's the Chinese version of the U.S. PRISM program," mainly targeted at democracy activists' communications with foreign diplomats in the former British colony, Kanwa said. Political figures may also be the targets of the monitoring facility, it added.

PRISM is the clandestine anti-terrorism mass electronic surveillance data mining program launched in 2007 by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA).

(By Stanley Cheung & Bear Lee)