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Chinese border guards are installing a mandatory malware app in tourists’ phones

This image has nothing to do with the story. I don’t care. Maximum the Hormone frickin’ rule.

china installing malware on android devices
Image: YouTube / MaximumtheHormone

Here in America, having our privacy invaded has become such a norm that we barely blink an eye at it anymore. A photo hack at the border? Sure. The NSA illegally collecting call records? It’s whatever. Malware on Facebook? F*ck it.

But China, man, you gotta hand it to ’em. Not only are they developing debt-shaming apps, but they’re forcing tourists to install malware apps that turn over all the user’s texts to the authorities. All of them. I almost respect that level of disrespect.

The news of this insane(ly ballsy) practice comes courtesy of Vice, who collaborated with the Guardian and the New York Times among others to break the story. According to their report, the Android malware is physically installed by border security agents on the phones of anyone crossing certain borders into the Xinjiang region.

While authorities are apparently looking to sus out extremist Islamic content, they’re also scanning particular files on phones in search of “academic books on Islam by leading researchers, and even music from a Japanese metal band.”

I really hope that the band is Maximum the Hormone, and agents are only doing it so they can talk about how cool Maximum the Hormone is.

If you didn’t make it all the way through that video, I feel sorry for you. I really do.

The undeniable awesomeness of Maximum the Hormone aside, it turns out that people are pretty pissed about this invasive and wicked racist security measure! Relevant much?

“[This app] provides yet another source of evidence showing how pervasive mass surveillance is being carried out in Xinjiang. We already know that Xinjiang residents—particularly Turkic Muslims—are subjected to round-the-clock and multidimensional surveillance in the region,” said Maya Wang, China senior researcher at Human Rights Watch. “What you’ve found goes beyond that: it suggests that even foreigners are subjected to such mass, and unlawful surveillance.”

So yeah, not great. But you know what is great? Maximum the Hormone. Seriously, watch the whole video or you’ll have only yourself to blame.

What do you think? Surprised by what China is doing regarding malware or does it seem about right? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Writer. Editor. Barelyknewer. Hate mail can be directed to j j o n e s @ k a r s f o r k i d s d o t e a r t h l i n k

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