Chinese spy balloon connected to mainland via US ISP: report

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A new report has revealed that the Chinese spy ship that flew over the US earlier this year communicated with mainland China through an American internet provider.

Two current and one former Biden administration official told NBC News in a report Thursday that the ship used a U.S. Internet provider to receive mainly navigational messages.

NBC News did not name the ISP in the report.

The company has denied that the Chinese spy ship used its services and came to that conclusion through its own investigation as well as through conversations with US officials.

One official said the spy ship, which was shot down by the US military off the coast of South Carolina on February 4, used high-bandwidth data collections known as packet transmissions to send information.

The report also said the Biden administration had asked the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for a top-secret warrant to gather intelligence on the ship as it flew over several states.

Officials said the order would have allowed the government to monitor the communications of the spy ship during its voyage.

Several officials said in the report that in the past China has secretly used commercial Internet providers in various nations as backup communications networks.

Encrypted networks are often sought after for their security.

Chinese embassy spokesman Liu Pengyu told NBC News that the ship was a weather balloon that had gone off course.

“As we previously clarified, the airship used for meteorological research inadvertently drifted into the US due to westerly winds and its limited homing capability,” Liu said.

Two current and one former Biden administration official told NBC News in a report Thursday that the ship used a U.S. Internet provider to receive mainly navigational messages. Reuters

“The facts are clear.”

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence declined to comment to Fox News Digital.

Fox News Digital has reached out to the White House and the Chinese Embassy for comment.

NBC News did not name the ISP in the report. via REUTERS

Although Biden administration officials have assured the American public that the Chinese spy balloon did not collect and transmit data, a phone call that was not previously reported paints a different picture of senior officials hiding information about the balloon.

According to NBC News, a Jan. 27 phone call between President Biden’s top military adviser, Gen. Mark Milley, and NORAD chief Gen. Glenn VanHerk sheds new light on the Chinese surveillance balloon.

The network also reported that the administration initially hoped to keep the balloon’s existence a secret from Congress and the public, citing multiple former and current administration and congressional officials.

The company has denied that the Chinese spy ship used its services and came to that conclusion through its own investigation as well as through conversations with US officials. Reuters

“Before it was seen publicly, the intention was to look into it and let it pass and never tell anyone about it,” a former senior US official told NBC.

A senior Biden administration official denied allegations of an attempt to cover up the incident, saying decisions were made to protect sensitive intelligence capabilities.

Sarah Rumpf-Whitton of Fox News Digital contributed to this report.





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