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Lithuania warns of possible spying from Chinese mobiles

Saharay Perez Bautista
3 min read
Lithuania warns of possible spying from Chinese mobiles – News – WebMediums
Espiojane from Chinese mobiles in Lithuania

After finding clear and concise evidence, the Lithuanian cybersecurity agency assured that Xiaomi mobile devices, Chinese manufacturers, have a system to detect and censor topics prohibited by the Beijing regime.

Which is why the government of the Baltic country asks its citizens to avoid using mobile phones from Chinese manufacturers for fear that they are functioning as a spy channel.

Indeed, they have also alerted a large fraction of the population of the European Union.

For its part, the investigation carried out by Lithuania determined that around 449 expressions are automatically blocked by the Xiaomi Mi 10T model.

Furthermore, when users search for terms such as “Taiwan independence”, “Tibet freedom” or “democratic movement”, the mobile device only returns results tailored to what China wants to show (or hide).

It should be noted that this is a function created for said mobiles to censor controversial political issues (for example, on the repression against the Uighur Muslim minority) and to apply certain restrictions agreed by the government; while the teams operate in Chinese territory.

But, although they guarantee that this function is deactivated in devices that are sold in other territories, the Lithuanian cybersecurity agency claims to have verified that it can be activated again remotely, without any complications.

The data is sent directly to a server located in Singapore

As if that were not enough, the Xiaomi Mi 10T model is responsible for sending encrypted data about the use of the device to a server that is located in Singapore.

Which, by default, the mobiles of other companies do, in case of not making the relevant adjustments in terms of security and privacy.

In the same way, the case of Huawei's P45G model was known, in which a security breach was also detected; thanks to the report made in Lithuania.

All of this automatically violates European data protection laws.

As a result, Xiaomi offered an answer before the allegations by the Lithuanian government and mainly, denied most of it. This was what he indicated: "Xiaomi has never restricted or will block any personal behavior of the users of our smartphones"; clarifying that it does not censor web browsing, searches or the use of third-party communication software.

Diplomatic tension between Lithuania and China

Lithuania warns of possible spying from Chinese mobiles – News – WebMediums
Diplomatic tension between Lithuania and China

Due to the accusations exposed by the government of Lithuania, a special tension was generated between Vilnius and Beijing or, failing that, Lithuania and China.

Noting that, in May of this year, the government of the Baltic country sent a message of skepticism or distrust towards China by withdrawing from the famous 17 + 1, the cooperation agreement with Eastern European countries that promised China to invest in its infrastructure.

In addition to this, during the month of August, China decided to withdraw its ambassador from Lithuania and asked them to do the same as revenge, after the diplomatic announcement by Taiwan regarding its mission in the Baltic country, which would be called "Representative Office in Taiwan”.

Which took the Asian giant by surprise, since it considers the island to be its territory and forces Taiwanese missions in other countries to use the name "Taipei" in order to prevent Chinese unrest.

As if that were not enough, the Chinese government has also responded by limiting trade in Lithuania and even opted to suspend the rail service between the two countries, after the diplomatic withdrawal.

Given this, the government of Lithuania found it necessary to ask its European partners for solidarity in the face of the harsh Chinese reaction.