Chief US spy catcher says China using LinkedIn to recruit Americans
SEE ALSO :US, China trade debates persistLinkedIn’s head of trust and safety, Paul Rockwell, confirmed the company had been talking to U.S. law enforcement agencies about Chinese espionage efforts. Earlier this month, LinkedIn said it had taken down “less than 40” fake accounts whose users were attempting to contact LinkedIn members associated with unidentified political organizations. Rockwell did not say whether those were Chinese accounts. “We are doing everything we can to identify and stop this activity,” Rockwell told Reuters. “We’ve never waited for requests to act and actively identify bad actors and remove bad accounts using information we uncover and intelligence from a variety of sources including government agencies.” Rockwell declined to provide numbers of fake accounts associated with Chinese intelligence agencies. He said the company takes “very prompt action to restrict accounts and mitigate and stop any essential damage that can happen” but gave no details. LinkedIn “is a victim here,” Evanina said. “I think the cautionary tale ... is, ‘You are going to be like Facebook. Do you want to be where Facebook was this past spring with congressional testimony, right?’” he said, referring to lawmakers’ questioning of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Russia’s use of Facebook to meddle in the 2016 U.S. elections. China’s foreign ministry disputed Evanina’s allegations.
SEE ALSO :The Uhuru-Raila 'secret' visits to China“We do not know what evidence the relevant U.S. officials you cite have to reach this conclusion. What they say is complete nonsense and has ulterior motives,” the ministry said in a statement. EX-CIA Officer Ensnared Evanina said he was speaking out in part because of the case of Kevin Mallory, a retired CIA officer convicted in June of conspiring to commit espionage for China. A fluent Mandarin speaker, Mallory was struggling financially when he was contacted via a LinkedIn message in February 2017 by a Chinese national posing as a headhunter, according to court records and trial evidence.