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Federal prosecutors charge Zoom executive with censoring Tiananmen memorial meetings

Executive helped Chinese Communists "censor and punish" U.S. users.

Image
The famous "tank man" in Tianenman Square, June 5, 1989
The famous "tank man" in Tianenman Square, June 5, 1989
(CNN/Getty)
Updated: December 19, 2020 - 12:27pm

Federal prosecutors have charged a former Zoom executive based out of China for his alleged role in helping censor digital demonstrations in remembrance of the Tiananmen Square massacre perpetrated by the Chinese government in 1989.

The executive, Xinjiang Jin—who has since been fired from Zoom—reportedly helped the Chinese government censor the digital events, many of which were attended by U.S. participants.

Jin sought to use Zoom “to censor the political and religious speech of individuals located in the United States and around the world at the direction and under the control of officials of the [Chinese Communist] government,” the federal complaint reads.

The complaint “lay[s] bare the Faustian bargain that the [People’s Republic of China] government demands of U.S. technology companies doing business within the PRC’s borders,” acting United States Attorney Seth D. DuCharme said in a press release announcing the charges.

“As alleged, Jin worked closely with the PRC government and members of PRC intelligence services to help the PRC government silence the political and religious speech of users of the platform of a U.S. technology company,” he continued. 

“Jin willingly committed crimes, and sought to mislead others at the company, to help PRC authorities censor and punish U.S. users’ core political speech merely for exercising their rights to free expression," DuCharme added.