As we’ve said, don’t think that other governments aren’t paying attention to China’s social media surveillance tech.
In Xinjiang, a part of western China that a Muslim minority population calls home, the government forces residents to install an Android app that scans devices for particular files. Now, cybersecurity researchers have found that the so-called JingWang app has horrendous security practices for transferring data, and uncovered more details on what exactly the app does to phones.
China experts say the app is a continuation of China’s surveillance and oppression of the some 11 million-strong Uighur ethnic group, in an area fraught with some of the most broad human rights violations in the world.
Interesting that Vice seems more concerned with the fact that the app, once installed, is open to exploitation. Not that the government is forcing people to download the app in the first place.
According to a translation of the JingWang announcement message published by Mashable at the time, it said JingWang would “automatically detect terrorist and illegal religious videos, images, e-books and electronic documents.” Users would be told to delete any offending content with the threat of detention for up to 10 days, Mashable added.