The Lithuanian Ministry of National Defense recommended that consumers avoid buying Chinese mobile phones and advised people to throw away the ones they have now after a government report found the devices had built-in censorship capabilities.
Flagship phones sold in Europe by China’s smartphone giant Xiaomi Corp (小米) have a built-in ability to detect and censor terms such as “Free Tibet,” “Long live Taiwan independence” or “democracy movement,” Lithuania’s state-run cybersecurity body said on Tuesday.
The capability in Xiaomi’s Mi 10T 5G phone software had been turned off for the “European Union region,” but can be turned on remotely at any time, the defense ministry’s National Cyber Security Center said in the report.
“Our recommendation is to not buy new Chinese phones, and to get rid of those already purchased as fast as reasonably possible,” Lithuanian Deputy Minister of National Defense Margiris Abukevicius told reporters in introducing the report.
Xiaomi did not respond to a query for comment.
Relations between Lithuania and China have soured recently.
Last month, China demanded that Lithuania withdraw its ambassador in Beijing and said it would recall its ambassador to Vilnius after Taiwan announced that its mission in Lithuania would be called the “Taiwanese Representative Office.”
Taiwanese missions in Europe and the US use the name of the city Taipei, avoiding a reference to the nation itself, which China claims as its own territory.
Last week, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan spoke with Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte and stressed the US’ support for her country in the face of pressure from China.
The National Cyber Security Center’s report also said that the Xiaomi smartphone was sending encrypted usage data to a server in Singapore.
A security flaw was also found in the P40 5G phone by China’s Huawei Technologies Co (華為) but none was found in the phone of another Chinese maker, OnePlus (一加), it said.
Huawei’s representative in the Baltics told the BNS news wire that its phones do not send user’s data externally.
The report said that the list of terms that could be censored by the Xiaomi phone’s system apps, including the default Internet browser, currently includes 449 terms in Chinese and is continuously updated.
“This is important not only to Lithuania, but to all countries which use Xiaomi equipment,” the center said in the report.
A Taiwanese YouTuber suspected of creating and selling deepfake porn videos featuring more than 100 politicians and influencers was on Monday released on bail after being arrested the previous day. Chu Yu-chen (朱玉宸), 26, who uses the name Xiaoyu (小玉) on YouTube, was arrested on Sunday in New Taipei City, along with two suspected accomplices, a 24-year-old YouTuber surnamed Yeh (耶), known as Shaiw Shaiw (笑笑), and a 22-year-old man Chuang (莊). The three suspects were on Monday escorted to the New Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office for further questioning on suspicion of distributing obscene videos and publicly insulting others, in contravention of
FAMILY: While the CECC agrees ‘in principle’ to allowing entry to foreign spouses and children of foreigners in Taiwan with a residence permit, the issue is still being reviewed A nationwide level 2 COVID-19 alert is to be extended for two weeks until Nov. 1, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, adding that agencies are still discussing whether to allow foreign spouses and children of foreigners in Taiwan with a residence permit to enter the nation. “In principle we agree to relaxing the entry regulations for the group, but relevant agencies are still reviewing and discussing the matter,” said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. The center on Sept. 13 eased border restrictions for foreign dependents of Taiwanese nationals. They can apply
ANTI-COERCION: EU Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager said the EU wishes to bolster relations with Taiwan within the framework of its ‘one China’ policy The EU is to further its engagement with Taiwan to defend democracy, freedom and an open market, while bolstering cooperation in semiconductor supply chains, EU Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager said on Tuesday. In her remarks at a European Parliament plenary session focused on Taiwan-EU relations, Vestager referred to China’s increasing military presence in the Taiwan Strait, including flying missions off the southwest coast of Taiwan. “This display of force may have a direct impact on European security and prosperity,” she said, adding that the EU encourages all parties to avoid any unilateral actions that might increase tensions across the Strait. “We Europeans
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Huang Kuo-shu (黃國書) yesterday said he would leave the party and would not seek re-election, as he confirmed a report that he worked as an informant for the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) authoritarian regime when he was a student. The Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) reported on Saturday that Huang, 57, worked as an informant for the KMT when he was in college. Huang yesterday on Facebook said he accepts political responsibility for working with the authoritarian government to spy on his fellow students when he was in university and apologized to those affected