Tuesday , October 26 2021

GCSB is aware of Chinese mobile phone reports that censor sensitive issues


The government spy agency says it is aware of international reports that some Chinese-made mobile phones are censoring content.

Xiaomi smartphone is photographed in a store in Krakow, Poland, on August 26, 2021. (Photo by Beata Zawrzel / NurPhoto) (Photo by Beata Zawrzel / NurPhoto / NurPhoto via AFP)

Taiwan, Tibet and democracy are some of the issues censored by Xiaomi, according to Lithuania’s defense ministry.
Photo: AFP

The Lithuanian Ministry of Defense has advised consumers to avoid Xiaomi phones because of a feature that says it censors terms related to Taiwan, Tibet or democracy.

Xiaomi, one of the world’s largest phone makers, denies it.

The Government Communications Security Bureau said it was aware of the “international comment”.

He did not specify which equipment state agencies could use, but he did require them to conduct risk assessments, the GCSB said in a statement to RNZ.

The agency has not said whether it knows any agency has done this assessment on Xiaomi phones.

Xiaomi’s regional head of public relations for Southeast Asia, Tan Chee Kun, told RNZ that its devices “do not censor communications to its users or its users.”

“Xiaomi has never restricted or will block or engage in any personal behavior of users of our smartphones, such as searches, calls, web browsing or the use of third party communication software.

“Xiaomi fully respects and protects the legal rights of all users. Xiaomi complies with the General Data Protection Regulation of the European Union (GDPR).”

Lithuania has now strained diplomatic relations with China.

The GCSB administers the network security provisions of the Telecommunications Security and Interception Capability Act (TICSA). The act was “country and vendor agnostic,” the agency said.

TICSA covers security risks in telecommunications networks, but does not extend to end-user devices, such as mobile phones.

Xiaomi sells its phones cheaper than its rivals and has experienced tremendous growth; in July, it jumped to Apple to become the world’s second-largest mobile phone vendor behind Samsung.

He was already under fire for his phones and cameras.

Last year, a cybersecurity researcher claimed that his smartphone was watching much of what he was doing, including recording all his searches, queries and views, even in private incognito mode. and sending data to remote servers hosted by Chinese technology giant Alibaba.

The company rejected these claims.

The allegations echo the controversy surrounding Chinese technology giant Huawei, which the United States has imposed sanctions based on claims of security risks.

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