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Chinese Spy Balloon Contained Technology To Monitor Communications: CNN



Chinese Ballon

The suspected Chinese surveillance balloon, which was shot down by US jets on Saturday, was operating with electronic surveillance technology capable of monitoring US communications, CNN journalists Jennifer Hansler and Kylie Atwood reported Thursday, citing a senior State Department official.

According to the report, the Biden administration determined that the balloon “was capable of conducting signals intelligence collection operations” and was part of a fleet that had flown over “more than 40 countries across five continents.”

The official added that the dirigible was “part of a PRC (People’s Republic of China) fleet of balloons developed to conduct surveillance operations” with a manufacturer tied to China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and suggested that the US is eyeing sanctions because the presence of the balloon violated US sovereignty and international laws.

The US “will also explore taking action against PRC entities linked to the PLA that supported the balloon’s incursion into US airspace,” the official said, according to CNN.

“We know the PRC used these balloons for surveillance,” the official said. “High resolution imagery from U-2 flybys revealed that the high-altitude balloon was capable of conducting signals intelligence collection operations.”

He added that “the high-altitude balloons’ equipment was clearly for intelligence surveillance and inconsistent with the equipment onboard weather balloons. It had multiple antennas to include an array likely capable of collecting and geo-locating communications.”

However, the US has said it has been able to prevent the balloon from intercepting US communications, the report states.