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Xiaomi devices have censorship capabilities that can be remotely activated: Lithuania Defence Ministry

These devices have the built-in ability to filter content which poses serious concerns of misuse by the Indian government.

Xiaomi devices have the built-in ability to detect and censor terms like "Free Tibet", "Women’s Committee", and "Long live Taiwan’s independence", Lithuania's Defence Ministry said in a report published by its National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). The censorship capability is turned off for phones sold in the European region, but the company has the ability to remotely activate them, the report said. Xiaomi refuted these allegations and told Reuters: "Xiaomi’s devices do not censor communications to or from its users. Xiaomi has never and will never restrict or block any personal behaviors of our smartphone users, such as searching, calling, web browsing or the use of third-party communication software." But this statement does not deny the allegation that such a capability is there on its phones. Xiaomi leads the smartphone market in India with nearly a 30 percent marketshare, raising concerns on how this alleged capability can be misused by the Indian government. Cybersecurity assessment of Chinese smartphones Lithuania's NCSC discovered the censorship capability when it carried out a cybersecurity assessment of Chinese-made 5G smartphones sold in Lithuania. The assessment was carried out on three devices: Huawei P40, Xiaomi Mi 10T, and OnePlus 8T mobile devices. The study identified the following major cybersecurity risks associated with these devices: Censorship capabilities of Xiaomi devices: The study found that Xiaomi apps including MiBrowser, Security, Themes, Cleaner, and MIUI Package Installer regularly download a configuration file called "MiAdBlacklistConfig" from a server located in Singapore. "This file contains a list composed of the titles, names and other information of various…

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