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China Operates Secret ‘Police Stations’ in Other Countries



AlphaBay was around for many years The dark web was ruled by the Dark Web. The digital bazaar is the best place to go if you are looking to purchase drugs or steal credit cards. At its peak, more than 350,000 products were listed for sale—an estimated 10 times the size of the notorious Silk Road market—and the website proved to be the ire of law enforcement the world round. This was before AlphaBay was taken offline by cops in 2017.

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Numerous hoaxes regarding mass shootings were made in schools all across the US over recent months. The police rush to the scene in fear, but they find that the caller is not the shooter. WIRED has obtained hoax call recordings and spoken with police officials to reveal the details of the calls and that they are being investigated by law enforcement officers. Police are looking for a male “with a heavy accent described as Middle Eastern or African” and have linked the phone calls to Ethiopia.

Elsewhere, a bug in Apple’s new macOS 13 Ventura operating system is causing problems for malware scanners and security monitoring tools. Apple’s new software update accidentally disabled third-party security tools in a manner that users might not notice. In a future software release, Apple will fix this bug.

We also looked at a newly discovered Chinese influence operation that is targeting US elections—although it is not having much success. And now that Elon Musk owns Twitter, here’s how you should think about your privacy and security on the bird website. [LINK TKTK]

But wait, there’s more! Each week, we highlight the news we didn’t cover in-depth ourselves. For the complete stories, click the headlines. Stay safe.

Canada and the Netherlands have launched an investigation into allegations that Chinese police officers operated illegal stations in their respective countries. This week’s reports claim that Chinese police have used clandestine bases to threaten and track dissidents. The Dutch government has called such sites “illegal” and said it is “investigating exactly what they are doing here,” while officials in Canada said they are investigating “so-called ‘police’ stations.”

But it’s only the beginning of the story. Spanish civil rights group Safeguard Defenders first claimed that Chinese police forces from the cities of Fuzhou and Qingtian were running “overseas police service stations” across the West in a report published in September. Since 2018, the group claims, more than 38 police service stations have appeared in “dozens of countries” spread across five different continents. “Such overseas police ‘service stations’ have been used by police back in China to carry out such ‘persuasion to return’ operations on foreign soil, including in Europe,” the report states. Reports state that lawmakers from England as well as Scotland intend to investigate the stations.

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