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Chinese agent used LinkedIn’s ‘brutal’ algorithm to find contacts, gather information and acknowledge debt

  • Dickson Jun Wei Yeo pleaded guilty this month to a U.S. court to obtain sensitive information on behalf of Chinese intelligence agents.
  • Yeo told investigators that he used LinkedIn’s “brutal” algorithm to find new contacts in the government and military.
  • Those contacts were sometimes paid between $ 1,000 and $ 2,000 to prepare reports, it seems to Yeo’s think tank. The reports were actually provided to Beijing.
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A man who admitted to being an agent of the Chinese government used LinkedIn’s “brutal” algorithm to find new batches of US government contacts, telling researchers that his daily search for new social network resources “almost felt like an addiction said a signed statement of guilt.

Dickson Jun Wei Yeo pleaded guilty to an illegal agent for China on July 23. Like The Washington Post reported, he used the academic cover to travel to the US and retrieve “nonpublic information” for Beijing, including recruiting Americans to write paid reports for his fake think tank.

In his signed admissionYeo admits to using a “professional networking website” – classified as The LinkedIn by The Washington Post – to find contacts with the government and military likely to contain sensitive information.

“According to Yeo, the website’s algorithm was relentless,” said the confession. He checked the site “almost every day to see the new set of potential contacts suggested to him by the site’s algorithm,” and told the researchers “it almost felt like an addiction.”

Those contacts were then paid between $ 1,000 and $ 2,000 for reports on topics such as the sale of F-35 aircraft to Japan and the US-China trade war. Those reports, apparently academic in nature, were then submitted to contacts known to Yeo as agents of the Chinese intelligence agency.

LinkedIn has long been known as a ground for intelligence recruitment. Last year, The New York Times reported that it was “the main hunting ground” where “Chinese spies are most active.”

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