The Chinese built a headquarters building for the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethopia.
It seemed like a generous thing, until they discovered that everything in the building was engineered to spy on its occupants and then phone home.
Seriously China, who do you think you are, the United States?
In 2012, the Chinese government “graciously offered” African States a gift and constructed the African Union’s headquarters in Addis Ababa. The act of soft diplomacy proved to be a rather self-serving maneuver to spy on the activities and discussions being conducted by leaders of the exclusive continental group.
In Addis Ababa, ministers and heads of states meet twice a year to discuss major continental issues. While strict security measures give the impression that that building is closely monitored and secured, an unseen security threat was present from 2012 until 2017. The threat was from none other than those who built the headquarters: the Chinese. An investigation conducted by “Le Monde Afrique” exposed Chinese espionage efforts.
According to the report, for five years, between midnight and 2 a.m., computer servers were reaching a peak in data transfer activity. A computer scientist noticed the oddity of the situation. The organization’s technical staff later discovered that the AU servers were all connected to servers located in Shanghai.
Every night, the secrets of the AU were being stored more than 8,000 km away by what was thought to be a diplomatic ally of Africa.
I am reminded of the adage about social media, “If the product is free, you are the product .