BEIJING, Apr. 15 -- According to the WeChat official account of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP) on April 14, the suspect Zhang Wei (an alias) was recently prosecuted on suspicion of illegally obtaining and disseminating state secrets by the Luqiao District People’s Procuratorate in Taizhou, East China’s Zhejiang Province.
In November 2020, Zhang Wei, head of a company, undertook construction work from a certain military unit. During the construction in the barracks, Zhang saw a particular type of military equipment up close for the first time. Out of curiosity and excitement, he videoed the military equipment with his mobile phone, in the knowledge that the photo is forbidden without specific permission, and then have it edited and posted on the internet.
The short video was later identified to have involved confidential military secret, which led to Zhang’s violation of the laws.
According to Article 282 of the Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China , whoever illegally acquires state secrets by stealing, secretly gathering and purchasing is to be sentenced to not more than three years of fixed-term imprisonment, criminal detention, control, or deprivation of political rights; when the circumstances are serious, the sentence is to be not less than three years but not more than seven years of fixed-term imprisonment.
In this case, the criminal suspect, in lack of awareness of law and confidentiality, filmed military equipment and uploaded the short video onto the network, out of curiosity and just to show off. Although he didn’t mean to maliciously spread secrets for profit or reaching out to hostile forces, his action has indeed endangered national security, and shall be prosecuted for criminal responsibility.
As warned by the prosecutor, social media, like Weibo, WeChat Moments and short video apps, is playing a more and more important role in modern life, but the cyberspace has never been a “law-free” zone. Taking and sharing photos or videos at will would dangerously make smartphone an outlet for secret leakage.