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A China-based ex-executive at Zoom has been charged with sabotaging virtual commemorations of the Tiananmen Square massacre — and breaching the security of US-based users, Brooklyn federal prosecutors announced Friday.
Xinjiang Jin, aka Julien Jin, 39, worked in Zhejiang Province as a security technical leader for the video conferencing company headquartered in San Jose, California, according to the indictment unsealed Friday in the Eastern District of New York.
Jin served as the company’s primary liaison with the People’s Republic of China — providing the government information about users and meetings and sometimes even their IP addresses, prosecutors said.
He was tasked with monitoring the platform for what the mainland Chinese government considered “illegal” meetings that discussed political and religious subjects.
At the behest of the People’s Republic of China, Jin and uncharged co-conspirators infiltrated conferences and allegedly terminated at least four video meetings commemorating the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre since January 2019.
The meetings were organized by the company’s US-based users — and some of the participants were survivors of the 1989 pro-democracy demonstrations that were brutally crushed by the Chinese government. At least 280 protesters were shot dead.
To achieve the shut down of the video conferences and terminate members’ accounts, Jin told Zoom executives that the participants had violated the company’s terms of service by distributing child pornography or supporting Islamic State terrorist groups.
Jin and his cronies created fake email and Zoom accounts to support the bogus claims. Some of the targeted users were based on Long Island and Queens, officials said.
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