FlightAware Discussions

Chinese authorities initiated crackdown on foreign ADS-B receivers


Recently, some Chinese aviation enthusiasts claimed that they received phone calls and police visits from Chinese authorities who “very nicely and politely” asked them to stop transmitting ADS-B data offshore, which apparently “compromises the national security and sovereignty of China”.

Some even claimed that they received the call even if they didn’t get their receiver from FR24 and FA alike. The developments has caused turmoil among enthusiasts, with many terminating the transmission of ADS-B data.

While extremely unlikely, Chinese authorities might, in the future, take further action. These actions would certainly discourage enthusiast from sharing their data with services like FR24 and FA.

Maybe FA will take action like about this?

Attachment: A takedown notice by authorities (Chinese):


This happening because, like I said many times before, people keep feeding sites that provide MLAT without filtering legally required airplanes (military, some commercial). And that will affect all the ADS-B receivers, since they can feed anything. They are willingly becoming agents of intelligence collection (espionage?) for other countries/powers.

The end result might be that FA and FR24 will block the outgoing port 30005 for use by other apps, to fully comply with regulations. Right now they are complying by blocking the display of those planes only on their websites.

Either that or get banned completely by states that are more aggressive (paranoid?) about national security (like China).


long ago I read a senator’s comment, something like ‘you can’t have Internet and demand privacy’ or ‘what privacy you expect once connected ?’ can you point me please to where or how I can find it ?

in the European Medieval Times the Pope run State had actively prevented Bible reading, until Luther came up and Guttenburg started printing Bibles.

in this era of technology very few things can remain ‘private’ if they are exposed to Internet. in the near future ADS-B will use sat, already providers preparing, and users
eg in Planeplotter. there will always be a solution for the amateur, even if he/she do not re-transmit their received data. in the light of this I fail to see how is security compromised.
the same applies to radio for airband, police etc.


Just because you don’t expect privacy, it doesn’t mean that the government “thinks” the same.
Emergency responders (including police) are moving away from unencrypted communications too… Now they even have their own https://firstnet.gov/

As for what a totalitary government can do, people born and raised in US have no clue how far it can go. That’s probably why socialist candidates get elected today in US, history not taught is forgotten and eventually gets repeated.


There may be competition with own chinese service http://flightadsb.variflight.com/


That’s a straight-up copy of the FR24 look and functionality. Typical Chinese appropriation.

PS: What’s next? A Russia owned service :wink:?


FA and Variflight are strategic partners

I still see a lot of traffic over China - on Fr24, FA and Variflight. The Op is new here probably to mask his identity but then again there is no news that I could locate to verify that this is indeed happening in China. Not that the press in China is exacrly free


Want an ADS-B Receiver supplied free of cost by Variflight?


From what I know, they are pretty rudimentary and based on a very old version of dump1090


Do you want a Chinese controlled host inside your firewall?

It seems China has been fiddling with BGP metrics and accidentally routing sensitive traffic through China and possible inspection.

I think I’ll pass this one.



Almost everything with a CPU that’s already in your house now is designed or built in China.

Nothing you’re ever going to have in your house uses BGP. That’s an ISP/carrier-level protocol.


China is not Taiwan, as much as they think it is… That’s a big difference.
Also, some phones like iPhones, Samsung, LG are not designed in China.
Huawei, ZTE, Blue… different story.






Since couple of months, I am feeding a French Site “Radar Virtuel”. My station is “cyyz1”



No, but Foxconn, D-Link, et al have extensive production on the mainland, even though they are headquartered in Taiwan ROC. Same with the Korea-based companies. Nearly all consumer electronics have deep supply chain roots in the mainland, regardless of where the company is headquartered (ex: Cupertino, CA). Any worries about supply chain infosec now are about two Walmart decades too late.


True but I don’t recall any recent CPU or even motherboard based attacks.

There have been numerous attacks from Hosts such as Security Cameras, Baby Monitors, Air-con remote controls, light dimmers etc etc that are placed inside your firewall and phone home allowing foreign access to your LAN.

No, I do not directly use or control BGP from my house but everything I do on The Net travels over links controlled and defined by BGP. Recently, China was detected manipulating those links so that packets that would not normally pass through China were doing so.

That concerns me.



Perhaps not at consumer-level products so far, but see the Supermicro controversy on data center devices.

Regardless of which side you believe on that story, the clear message is that security at the foundry and PCB level needs improvement. In the 1st world, you may not be able to get an engineer, tech, or programmer to risk their career to alter a die mask, Gerber file, or boot code for $100K, but that’s huge amount of money in much of the rest of the world were so many products are produced. All it takes one bad actor with a USB thumb drive and elevated access privileges.

The working assumption for baby/security cams, doorbells, thermostats, and all such IoT stuff must be that their security is garbage unless proven otherwise. Consumer level routers should not have UPnP and WDS enabled by default. Everybody uses end-to-end encryption, etc…etc. [eyeroll].

BGP is a very old and insecure protocol. Sleepy admins around the world have made typos that have brought down large parts of the internet. Has happened worldwide and I don’t attribute those mistakes or malfeasance any more or less to any country. If the lock on the front door is broken, somebody, somewhere is going to try to turn the knob.


Sadly, it’s true. The greed of western companies is what was and will be their demise, once all their IP is stolen and used against them.
As for government level infosec, the results of years of “cost cutting” and “off-the-shelf” approach are starting to be seen today.
We will pay for those cheap TV’s, laptops and phones in one way or another, including via increased taxing to support military spending on infosec.


The “lust for wealth” and “lust for power” have been the main causes of miseries of human race since it appeared on this planet.