You can read more about the beginning of the story in the original New York Times article, but as a result, federal agents were finally able to obtain a search warrant for the two Gmail addresses Ku Hui used. These addresses were used in the Apple ID and associated with an iCloud account where data on their phones was regularly backed up. Agents were also able to obtain warrants for two iCloud accounts. According to the New York Times, the agents managed to open the “treasure.”
Among the data in iCloud was confirmation of what they had suspected all along: Koo worked for Chinese intelligence. His real name is Xu Yanjun.
Like many of us, he took pictures of important documents on his iPhone—ID card, payment stubs, health insurance card, vacation application—and that’s how those documents ended up on his iCloud account. There, investigators found an audio recording of a 2016 speech in which Koo talked about his work in intelligence and the risks associated with travel. For example, Ku’s leadership asked him to get materials on the American F-22 fighter jet.
Ku scheduled a meeting in Brussels for an American cause – there he was arrested and extradited to the United States, becoming the first Chinese intelligence officer to be convicted of economic espionage on US soil.
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