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Thread: The Chinese have stolen America's Secrets

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    Default Re: The Chinese have stolen America's Secrets

    Report: Chinese Spies Stole Pentagon Secrets

    Beijing's human, technical spying increasing and poses serious threat

    http://freebeacon.com/national-secur...tagon-secrets/
    BY: Bill Gertz
    October 27, 2016 4:59 am

    Chinese spies repeatedly infiltrated U.S. national security agencies, including official email accounts, and stole U.S. secrets on Pentagon war plans for a future conflict with China, according to a forthcoming congressional commission report.

    “The United States faces a large and growing threat to its national security from Chinese intelligence collection operations,” states the late draft report of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.

    “Among the most serious threats are China’s efforts at cyber and human infiltration of U.S. national security entities.”

    Chinese intelligence activities have “risen significantly” in the past 15 years and are conducted through several spy services, including the Ministry of State Security (MSS), the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), and Communist Party military organizations such as the PLA General Political Department and the Party’s United Front Work Department.

    A copy of the draft annual report for 2016 was obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. The final report will be released Nov. 16.

    Defense officials The report identified repeated infiltrations by Chinese spies of U.S. national security entities, including the FBI and the U.S. Pacific Command.

    One of the more damaging spy cases involved retired Lt. Col. Benjamin Pierce Bishop, a defense contractor at the U.S. Pacific Command, who pleaded guilty in March 2014 to supplying classified information to a Chinese woman he dated.

    The compromised information included secret U.S. war plans, nuclear weapons and deployment information, secrets on the MQ-9 Reaper drone, and a classified report titled “The Department of Defense China Strategy.”

    Other Chinese human intelligence operations included the case in 2010 of James Fondren, a high-ranking Pacific Command official who passed a secret 2008 National Defense Strategy report to China; and Gregg Bergersen, who passed secrets to China until his arrest in 2008. Both were recruited by PLA spies.

    In addition to targeting officials with access to secrets, Chinese intelligence is targeting American academics at think tanks involved in China studies and, in at least one case, an American student in China, Glenn Duffie Shriver.

    Chinese intelligence has repeatedly infiltrated U.S. national security entities and extracted information with serious consequences for U.S. national security, including information on the plans and operations of U.S. military forces and the designs of U.S. weapons and weapons systems,” the report said.

    “This information could erode U.S. military superiority by aiding China’s military modernization and giving China insight into the operation of U.S. platforms and the operational approaches of U.S. forces to potential contingencies in the region.”

    Additionally, the report states that China cyber operations have targeted critical U.S. infrastructure, such as the electrical power grid and financial networks.

    “U.S. critical infrastructure entities are a major target of Chinese cyber operations, and China is capable of significantly disrupting or damaging these entities,” the report says.

    Regarding intelligence targeting of American decision makers, the report noted that MSS hackers conducted the cyber attacks against the Office of Personnel Management last year involving the theft of records on 22 million federal employees.

    In August, an FBI electronics technician, Kun Shan “Joey” Chun, pleaded guilty to acting as a Chinese agent after passing sensitive data to China about FBI surveillance technologies.

    “Among the information extracted were 5.6 million fingerprints, some of which could be used to identify undercover U.S. government agents or to create duplicates of biometric data to obtain access to classified areas,” the report said.

    Chinese intelligence also hacked and infiltrated the personal email accounts of many Obama administration officials, the report said.

    Chinese cyber espionage is carried out by what the report said was a “large, professionalized cyber espionage community.”

    “Chinese intelligence services have demonstrated broad capabilities to infiltrate a range of U.S. national security (as well as commercial) actors,” the report says. “Units within the former 3PLA, in particular, have been responsible for a large number of cyber operations against U.S. actors.”

    Other targets of cyber attacks include U.S. diplomatic, economic, and defense industrial sectors involved in supporting American national defense programs. The data could be used to support Chinese military modernization, as well as provide Chinese Communist leaders with insights into U.S. leadership perspectives on key China issues.

    Chinese military planners also would benefit from the intelligence activities by helping “build a picture of U.S. defense networks, logistics, and related military capabilities that could be exploited during a crisis.”

    China’s government also uses unofficial spies to gather information.

    “In addition to the cyber espionage elements of the MSS and PLA, many unofficial Chinese actors target the United States with cyber espionage operations,” the report said.

    “These actors include government contractors, independent ‘patriotic hackers,’ and criminal actors,” the report added. “Distinguishing between the operations of official and other Chinese cyber actors is often difficult, as is determining how these groups interact with each other. Some reports suggest China is shifting cyber espionage missions away from unofficial actors to centralize and professionalize these operations within its intelligence services.”

    Spy targets include cyber intrusions of defense and military systems that are allowing China to spy on deployed U.S. military forces.

    “Moreover, by infiltrating and attempting to infiltrate defense entities in U.S. ally and partner countries, China could affect U.S. alliance stability and indirectly extract sensitive U.S. national defense information,” the report says.

    The annual report also concludes that despite extensive ties between Beijing and Washington, “U.S.-China relations over the past year continued to be strained.”

    Among the causes of tensions are Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea, U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, the deployment of missile defenses in South Korea, Chinese cyber attacks, and the U.S. “rebalance” to Asia.

    Despite a September 2015 U.S.-China agreement not to conduct government-sponsored cyber economic espionage, “Chinese cyber espionage against a range of U.S. entities continued in 2016, to the detriment of U.S. economic and national security,” the report said.

    In a related development, an Agriculture Department geneticist pleaded guilty on Monday to making false statements to the FBI as part of an economic espionage case involving China.

    Wengui Yan lied to FBI agents about plans by a group of Chinese tourists to steal U.S. genetically-modified rice samples, Reuters reported Wednesday.

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    Default Re: The Chinese have stolen America's Secrets


    Nuclear Engineer Sentenced to Prison for Selling Secrets to China

    September 1, 2017

    A U.S nuclear engineer is sentenced to two years in prison for allegedly selling secrets to China.

    67-year-old Allen Ho — a naturalized U.S. citizen born in China — was charged with violating the Atomic Energy Act by helping China develop nuclear technology without permission from the U.S. government.

    Though Ho pleaded guilty in January, his attorneys said he was not trying to help China develop nuclear weapons.

    The federal government argues China can not be trusted with this type of sensitive information.

    Ho must pay a $20,000 fine and serve one year of probation following his release.


    Allen Szuhsiung Ho, a TVA senior manager in the nuclear program charged with selling information to one of China’s top nuclear power companies.

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    Default Re: The Chinese have stolen America's Secrets


    China Has Stolen Vast Amounts of Navy Submarine, Missile Data in Multiple Breaches from Contractor’s Servers

    June 8, 2018

    This story will be updated as new information becomes available.

    Chinese government-sponsored cyber thieves stole hundreds of gigabytes of data related to sensitive Navy undersea warfare programs from a government contractor earlier this year, a defense official familiar with details of the breach told USNI News on Friday.

    The official confirmed details reported in a Friday afternoon story in The Washington Post in which hackers took “614 gigabytes of material relating to a closely held project known as Sea Dragon, as well as signals and sensor data, submarine radio room information relating to cryptographic systems, and the Navy submarine development unit’s electronic warfare library.”

    The data is described in the story as sensitive but not classified.

    When contacted, Navy spokesman Lt. Marycate Walsh would not confirm the accuracy of the Post report but provided a statement on general cyber intrusions.

    “We treat the broader issue of cyber intrusion against our contractors very seriously. If such an intrusion were to occur, the appropriate parties would be looking at the specific incident, taking measures to protect current info, and mitigating the impacts that might result from any information that might have been compromised,” she said.

    The defense official told USNI News that the there were particular concerns over the type of data that was stolen from the contractor, which supported the Naval Undersea Warfare Center based in Newport, R.I. The official indicated data from other military services may have also been taken from the contractor’s servers. Indications from the multiple breaches that occurred in January and February showed that the servers on which the technical data was stored were not properly protected, the official said.

    Of particular concern is information related to the Sea Dragon anti-ship missile program, a project of the Pentagon’s Strategic Capabilities Office that was being developed by submarine builder General Dynamics Electric Boat. The Pentagon and Navy did not tell USNI News which company affiliated with the Sea Dragon program had its servers hacked.

    Like the SCO-led anti-surface modification to the Standard Missile-6, the program sought to give an unspecified sub-launched weapon an anti-ship capability.

    While the technical data on its own may be unclassified, enough of it combined together could give U.S. adversaries like China or Russia an edge in developing similar capabilities, Bryan Clark, a naval analyst at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments and former aide to retired former Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert, told USNI News on Friday.

    “It’s bad that we’re not treating unclassified sensitive information as carefully as we should,” he said.

    “We’re talking about submarine-launched weapons that were in the pile of information. The Russians or the Chinese could take that information and reverse engineer [that system].”

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    Default Re: The Chinese have stolen America's Secrets


    China Hacked A Navy Contractor And Secured A Trove Of Highly Sensitive Data On Submarine Warfare

    June 8, 2018

    Chinese government hackers have compromised the computers of a Navy contractor, stealing massive amounts of highly sensitive data related to undersea warfare — including secret plans to develop a supersonic anti-ship missile for use on U.S. submarines by 2020, according to American officials.

    The breaches occurred in January and February, the officials said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation. The hackers targeted a contractor who works for the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, a military organization headquartered in Newport, R.I., that conducts research and development for submarines and underwater weaponry.

    The officials did not identify the contractor.

    Taken were 614 gigabytes of material relating to a closely held project known as Sea Dragon, as well as signals and sensor data, submarine radio room information relating to cryptographic systems, and the Navy submarine development unit’s electronic warfare library.

    The Washington Post agreed to withhold certain details about the compromised missile project at the request of the Navy, which argued that their release could harm national security.

    The data stolen was of a highly sensitive nature despite being housed on the contractor’s unclassified network. The officials said the material, when aggregated, could be considered classified, a fact that raises concerns about the Navy’s ability to oversee contractors tasked with developing *cutting-edge weapons.

    The breach is part of China’s long-running effort to blunt the U.S. advantage in military technology and become the preeminent power in East Asia. The news comes as the Trump administration is seeking to secure Beijing’s support in persuading North Korea to give up nuclear weapons, even as tensions persist between the United States and China over trade and defense matters.

    The Navy is leading the investigation into the breach with the assistance of the FBI, officials said. The FBI declined to comment.

    On Friday, the Pentagon inspector general’s office said that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis had asked it to review contractor cybersecurity issues arising from The Post’s story.

    Cmdr. Bill Speaks, a Navy spokesman, said, “There are measures in place that require companies to notify the government when a ‘cyber incident’ has occurred that has actual or potential adverse effects on their networks that contain controlled unclassified information.”

    Speaks said that “it would be inappropriate to discuss further details at this time.”

    Altogether, details on hundreds of mechanical and software systems were compromised — a significant breach in a critical area of warfare that China has identified as a priority, both for building its own capabilities and challenging those of the United States.

    “It’s very disturbing,” said former senator James M. Talent (R-Mo.), who is a member of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. “But it’s of a piece with what the Chinese have been doing. They are completely focused on getting advanced weapons technology through all kinds of means. That includes stealing secrets from our defense contractors.” Talent had no independent knowledge of the breach.

    Undersea priority

    The Sea Dragon project is an initiative of a special Pentagon office stood up in 2012 to adapt existing U.S. military technologies to new applications. The Defense Department, citing classification levels, has released little information about Sea Dragon other than to say that it will introduce a “disruptive offensive capability” by “integrating an existing weapon system with an existing Navy platform.” The Pentagon has requested or used more than $300 million for the project since late 2015 and has said it plans to start underwater testing by September.

    Military experts fear that China has developed capabilities that could complicate the Navy’s ability to defend U.S. allies in Asia in the event of a conflict with China.

    The Chinese are investing in a range of platforms, including *quieter submarines armed with increasingly sophisticated weapons and new sensors, Adm. Philip S. Davidson said during his April nomination hearing to lead U.S. Indo-Pacific Command. And what they cannot develop on their own, they steal — often through cyberspace, he said.

    “One of the main concerns that we have,” he told the Senate Armed Services Committee, “is *cyber and penetration of the dot-com networks, exploiting technology from our defense contractors, in some instances.”

    In February, Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats testified that most of the detected Chinese cyber operations against U.S. industry focus on defense contractors or tech firms supporting government networks.

    In recent years, the United States has been scrambling to develop new weapons or systems that can counter a Chinese naval buildup that has targeted perceived weaknesses in the U.S. fleet. Key to the American advantage in any faceoff with China on the high seas in Asia will be its submarine fleet.

    “U.S. naval forces are going to have a really hard time operating in that area, except for submarines, because the Chinese don’t have a lot of anti-submarine warfare capability,” said Bryan Clark, a naval analyst at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. “The idea is that we are going to rely heavily on submarines in the early effort of any conflict with the Chinese.”

    China has made closing the gap in undersea warfare one of its three top military priorities, and although the United States still leads the field, China is making a concerted effort to diminish U.S. superiority.

    “So anything that degrades our comparative advantage in undersea warfare is of extreme significance if we ever had to execute our war plans for dealing with China,” said James Stavridis, dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a retired admiral who served as supreme allied commander at NATO.

    The U.S. military let its anti-ship weaponry languish after the Cold War ended because with the Soviet Union’s collapse, the Navy no longer faced a peer competitor on the seas. But the rapid modernization and buildup of the Chinese navy in recent years, as well as Russia’s resurgent forces at sea, have prompted the Pentagon to renew heavy investment in technologies to sink enemy warships.

    The introduction of a supersonic anti-ship missile on U.S. Navy submarines would make it more difficult for Chinese warships to maneuver. It also would augment a suite of other anti-ship weapons that the U.S. military has been developing in recent years.

    Ongoing breaches

    For years, Chinese government hackers have siphoned information on the U.S. military, underscoring the challenge the Pentagon faces in safeguarding details of its technological advances. Over the years, the Chinese have snatched designs for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter; the advanced Patriot PAC-3 missile system; the Army system for shooting down ballistic missiles known as Terminal High Altitude Area Defense; and the Navy’s new Littoral Combat Ship, a small surface vessel designed for near-shore operations, according to previous reports prepared for the Pentagon.

    In some cases, suspected Chinese breaches appear to have resulted in copycat technologies, such as the drones China has produced that mimic U.S. unmanned aircraft.

    In recent years, the United States has been scrambling to develop new weapons or systems that can counter a Chinese naval buildup that has targeted perceived weaknesses in the U.S. fleet. Key to the American advantage in any faceoff with China on the high seas in Asia will be its submarine fleet.

    “U.S. naval forces are going to have a really hard time operating in that area, except for submarines, because the Chinese don’t have a lot of anti-submarine warfare capability,” said Bryan Clark, a naval analyst at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. “The idea is that we are going to rely heavily on submarines in the early effort of any conflict with the Chinese.”

    China has made closing the gap in undersea warfare one of its three top military priorities, and although the United States still leads the field, China is making a concerted effort to diminish U.S. superiority.

    “So anything that degrades our comparative advantage in undersea warfare is of extreme significance if we ever had to execute our war plans for dealing with China,” said James Stavridis, dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a retired admiral who served as supreme allied commander at NATO.

    The U.S. military let its anti-ship weaponry languish after the Cold War ended because with the Soviet Union’s collapse, the Navy no longer faced a peer competitor on the seas. But the rapid modernization and buildup of the Chinese navy in recent years, as well as Russia’s resurgent forces at sea, have prompted the Pentagon to renew heavy investment in technologies to sink enemy warships.

    The introduction of a supersonic anti-ship missile on U.S. Navy submarines would make it more difficult for Chinese warships to maneuver. It also would augment a suite of other anti-ship weapons that the U.S. military has been developing in recent years.
    Ongoing breaches

    For years, Chinese government hackers have siphoned information on the U.S. military, underscoring the challenge the Pentagon faces in safeguarding details of its technological advances. Over the years, the Chinese have snatched designs for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter; the advanced Patriot PAC-3 missile system; the Army system for shooting down ballistic missiles known as Terminal High Altitude Area Defense; and the Navy’s new Littoral Combat Ship, a small surface vessel designed for near-shore operations, according to previous reports prepared for the Pentagon.

    In some cases, suspected Chinese breaches appear to have resulted in copycat technologies, such as the drones China has produced that mimic U.S. unmanned aircraft.

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    Ex-Intelligence Official Held Without Bail In Espionage Case

    June 6, 2018

    A judge has ordered a former U.S. intelligence officer charged with attempted espionage to be held without bail pending trial.

    Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Lund told the court in a memorandum Monday that 58-year-old Ron Rockwell Hansen could be a flight risk because of his history using undercover identities and false documents as an intelligence officer. Judge Brian Tsuchida issued the order Monday.

    Lund said that Hansen had previously talked about using false personas and fleeing to China "if things went wrong."

    Hansen is a Utah resident who was arrested in Washington state Saturday and charged with 15 counts of espionage, smuggling and financial charges. Prosecutors claim he was paid up to $800,000 by Chinese intelligence and plotted to hand over U.S. military plans.

    A lawyer listed on court documents did not respond to a voicemail Wednesday.

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    Spying For China: Former US Intel Officer, Army Vet Pleads Guilty To Attempted Espionage

    March 18, 2019

    A former Defense Intelligence Agency officer and U.S. Army veteran pleaded guilty Friday to attempting to steal and deliver military secrets to the Chinese government, Department of Justice officials announced.

    Ron Rockwell Hansen, 59, was arrested by the FBI in June as he was trying to board a flight for China. The agency said he had been approached by Chinese intelligence agents in 2014, and received not less than $800,000 in funds originating from China as compensation for transmitting U.S. national secrets.

    “This case drives home the troubling reality of insider threats and that current and former clearance holders will be targeted by our adversaries," Special Agent in Charge Barnhart said in a statement after the arrest.

    Hansen pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City. He is a resident of Syracuse, Utah. The plea deal Hansen agreed to stipulated a 180-month sentence, pending court approval, DoJ officials said in their announcement.

    Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 24.

    Hansen was indicted on 15 counts, including attempting to gather or deliver defense information, acting as an agent of a foreign government, bulk cash smuggling, structuring monetary transactions and smuggling goods from the U.S.

    Hansen had retired from the Army as a warrant officer, according to the DoJ. His background was in signals and human intelligence, officials said.

    He is fluent in Mandarin and Russian, according to court documents.

    After leaving the Army, Hansen was hired by the DIA as a civilian intelligence case officer in 2006.

    In early 2014, Chinese intelligence agents targeted Hansen for recruitment and began meeting with him regularly in China, he admitted in his plea agreement.

    The Chinese agents told Hansen during the meetings what type of information they wanted him to bring to them. In exchange, the agents provided Hansen with “hundreds of thousands of dollars” as compensation, according to the DoJ.

    Between 2013 and 2017, Hansen would attend military and intelligence conferences in the U.S. and provide the information he learned at the conferences to contacts in China associated with the nation’s intelligence agency.

    Beginning in May 2016, Hansen attempted to solicit information from a current DIA intelligence officer. Hansen was no longer working for the DIA by this time.

    Hansen told the other officer how to record and transmit the classified information without raising agency alarms, as well as how to launder the money he received as payment from the Chinese.

    The other DIA officer was actually working as a confidential human source for the FBI, leading to Hansen’s arrest.

    Hansen attempted to transfer the classified documents by memorization and taking written notes. He tried to conceal the notes in the text of an electronic document.

    Hansen was caught while attempting to board a connecting flight to China from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in June.

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    Chinese Woman Carrying Malware Allegedly Got Into Mar-a-Lago

    April 2, 2019

    A woman carrying two Chinese passports and a device containing computer malware lied to Secret Service agents and briefly gained admission to President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club over the weekend during his Florida visit, federal prosecutors allege in court documents.

    Yujing Zhang, 32, approached a Secret Service agent at a checkpoint outside the Palm Beach club early Saturday afternoon and said she was a member who wanted to use the pool, court documents said. She showed the passports as identification.

    Agents say she wasn’t on the membership list, but a club manager thought Zhang was the daughter of a member. Agents say that when they asked Zhang if the member was her father, she did not answer definitively but they thought it might be a language barrier and admitted her.

    Zhang’s story changed when she got inside, agents say, telling a front desk receptionist she was there to attend the United Nations Chinese American Association event scheduled for that evening. No such event was scheduled and agents were summoned.

    Agent Samuel Ivanovich wrote in court documents that Zhang told him that she was there for the Chinese American event and had come early to familiarize herself with the club and take photos, again contradicting what she had said at the checkpoint. She showed him an invitation in Chinese that he could not read.

    He said Zhang was taken off the grounds and told she could not be there. Ivanovich said she became argumentative, so she was taken to the local Secret Service office for questioning.

    There, he said, it became clear Zhang speaks and reads English well. He said Zhang said she had traveled from Shanghai to attend the nonexistent Mar-a-Lago event on the invitation of an acquaintance named “Charles,” whom she only knew through a Chinese social media app. Ivanovich said she then denied telling the checkpoint agents she was a member wanting to swim.

    Ivanovich said Zhang carried four cellphones, a laptop computer, an external hard drive and a thumb drive containing computer malware. She did not have a swimsuit.

    “While the Secret Service does not determine who is permitted to enter the club, our agents and officers conduct physical screenings to ensure no prohibited items are allowed onto the property,” a U.S. Secret Service spokesperson said in a statement. “This access does not afford an individual proximity to the President or other Secret Service protectees. In such instances, additional screening and security measures are employed.”

    Zhang is charged with making false statements to federal agents and illegally entering a restricted area. She remains in custody pending a hearing next week. Her public defender, Robert Adler, declined comment.

    There is no indication Zhang was ever near the president. There is also no indication that she is connected to Li Yang, a Chinese native, Republican donor and former Florida massage parlor owner.

    Yang recently made news after it was learned she was promising Chinese business leaders that her consulting firm could get them access to Mar-a-Lago, where they could mingle with the president.

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    Default Re: The Chinese have stolen America's Secrets

    Well, this is certainly an interesting espionage blackmail angle...


    Grindr Is Owned by a Chinese Firm, and the U.S. Is Trying to Force It to Sell

    March 28, 2019

    The Trump administration is expanding its efforts to block Chinese acquisitions in the United States, moving to force a Chinese firm that owns Grindr, the gay dating app, to relinquish control over concerns that Beijing could use personal information to blackmail or influence American officials, according to people familiar with the situation.

    The action, which is being driven by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, is unusual given that the panel typically investigates mergers that could result in control of an American business by a foreign individual or company, judging whether deals could threaten national security. This appears to be the first case in which the United States has asserted that foreign control of a social media app could have national security implications.

    The administration has not announced the move, which will require that Grindr be sold, or explained it. But officials familiar with the case, which was first reported by Reuters, say the concern focused on the potential for the blackmail of American officials or contractors, if China threatened to disclose their sexual orientation, or track their movements or dating habits.

    Three years ago, a Chinese firm that owns both gaming and credit services businesses, Beijing Kunlun Tech Co. Ltd., a public company listed on the Shenzhen stock exchange, bought a 60 percent stake in Grindr, which is based in West Hollywood, Calif., for $93 million. Early last year, it bought the remaining shares for a little over $150 million.

    While there were news reports about both transactions, the United States did not take action to block the acquisitions. Since then, the United States’ definition of national security threats has expanded, in part over concerns by the Trump administration and lawmakers about China’s ability to gain access to critical American technology.

    It is unclear why the panel, known as Cfius, acted now, more than three years after control of the company switched to Chinese hands. And so far, there is no public evidence that any information on the app has been used by the Chinese government.

    But Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, said he, along with several other senators, asked Cfius to conduct a review.

    “Last year, my office met with a top official from the Treasury Department to express my serious concerns about the national security risks associated with a Chinese company buying Grindr,” he said in a statement. While he said he could not “confirm specific actions by Cfius,” a highly secretive panel, “it is high time for the administration and Cfius to consider the national security impact of foreign companies acquiring large, sensitive troves of Americans’ private data.”

    Congress handed more power to the panel last year, allowing it to examine transactions that fell short of majority control of a company and involved just minority stakes. The expansion was an effort to counter Chinese minority investments in Silicon Valley companies that gave investors an early look at emerging technologies.

    The Kunlun purchases had never been submitted to Cfius, giving the government the leverage to go back in after the sale to try to force a divestment. Calls to Kunlun’s office number were not answered, and emails seeking comment were not returned.

    Grindr has already faced questions about its control and use of personal data. The company faced a huge backlash for sharing users’ H.I.V. status, sexual tastes and other intimate personal details with outside software vendors. After the data sharing was made public by European researchers in 2018, the company said it would stop sharing H.I.V. data with outside companies.

    Last year was the first time Cfius appeared to be concerned about the purchase of companies that contained sensitive data. The government killed a proposed merger last year between MoneyGram, the money transfer firm, and Ant Financial, a payments company related to the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.

    The United States has also embarked on a global campaign to block a big Chinese telecom equipment giant, Huawei, from building the next generation of wireless networks, known as 5G, over concerns that it could divert critical data through China, or be forced to turn over data running through its networks to Beijing. The White House has essentially accused Huawei of being an arm of the Chinese government that can be used for spying or to sabotage communications networks, a charge that Huawei has vehemently denied.

    But the administration’s efforts to control what kind of personal data is available to China’s intelligence services may have come too late. China’s ministry of state security and other Chinese groups have already been accused of successfully stealing personal data from American databases.

    The theft of 22 million security clearance files from the Office of Personnel Management in 2014, along with similar theft of data from the Anthem insurance networks and Marriott hotels, have all been attributed to Chinese actors by American intelligence officials, who say they were most likely operating on behalf of the government.

    The files stolen in the 2014 government breach contain far more personal data than the Chinese could probably find on any individual social media site: They include work history on sensitive United States projects, information about bankruptcies, medical conditions, relationship histories, and any contacts with foreigners. The loss of the information forced the C.I.A. to reassign personnel headed to China, and was considered among the largest losses of sensitive security information in decades. The Obama administration declined to publicly concede that the breach was committed by Chinese intelligence services.

    China has taken steps of its own to limit foreign companies’ access to its citizens’ personal information. A recently enacted cybersecurity law mandates that user data be stored in the country, where it can be kept under the government’s control. In response to the law, Apple said it would open its first data center in China, and formed a partnership with a Chinese company to run the center and handle data requests from the government.

    Before the law even came into effect, the Chinese government had pressured foreign technology companies to operate servers only within its borders — meaning the data is available to Chinese authorities under Chinese law. Amazon and Microsoft have partnered with Chinese firms to offer cloud computing services to Chinese customers.

    The United States has also pressed China to allow insurance companies and other American firms that control personal data to enter the Chinese market, a demand that goes back nearly two decades. China has agreed to do so, and that agreement is expected to be part of the larger trade deal being negotiated between American and Chinese negotiators.

    But the Grindr case could give the Chinese government an excuse to make its own national security claims if American firms sought to purchase a Chinese insurance company, or any of its social media firms.

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