Persona image for China: "Z. W."

China: "Z. W."

Academic and Blogger
My work has cause my family to be placed under threat. My wife's professional and our social opportunities are restricted


Z.W. is highly educated, and also respected and accomplished professional with many connections. He is reflective, respectful, careful, principled and is in his late 40s with wife and two children. He is fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese, English.

Z. W. recently posted an article perceived as critical of government authorities about a land-grab case occurring on the outskirts of a town in his hometown province. Due to Z.W.’s international connections, previous political statements he has made, his influential position as an academic, and the popularity of the current article he wrote, he was recently visited by government authorities and detained for questioning. Several suspicious activities—including phishing emails, and questions from the authorities directed to him about topics not widely known by others—make him certain he is under active surveillance. He is currently investigating moving his family out of the country to ease pressures and is exploring opportunities.


Means to communicate securely with family and network both inside and outside of China, both now and if he emigrates.

Ability to make purchases that are not traced back to him (e.g, new devices, travel, etc.).

Ability to lock down his accounts to prevent further surveillance, without raising his profile or drawing attention.


Accessing and downloading secure tools and applications could be considered a criminal offence due to new NGO and other related laws.

Surveillance of network activity and digital devices confiscated.

Imprisonment, torture, and the mental and physical health issues afterwards.


Trained on digital security tools and techniques; will implement techniques and tools if they work reliably, are usable (i.e., meet the basic usability standards offered by tools such as WeChat, OneDrive, etc.)

Comfortable with and regularly uses social media.

Regularly accesses databases and conducts fairly complex data analysis in support of academic research work.


How can I maintain social connections with my international network without secure communication methods?

How can I convince my personal networks to use recommended secure communication tools (e.g., PGP, ChatSecure, Jitsi, etc) when these tools are considered too onerous to setup or so unreliable in functionality and service?