Xiaomi defends against Lithuania accusations - Mobile World Live

Xiaomi defends against Lithuania accusations

27 SEP 2021

Xiaomi hit back at claims made by Lithuanian authorities outlining potential security and censorship issues with its devices, as the company called in independent experts to assess the allegations.

In a statement, the manufacturer highlighted its products adhered to local data and security policies, while noting third-party experts would evaluate claims made in the country.

On censorship accusations, Xiaomi added its software had similar applications to those employed by other vendors by providing the ability to block adult content and hate speech.

The comments come a week after Lithuania’s defence ministry highlighted findings from the country’s cybersecurity authority into apparent issues with devices made by Xiaomi and, to a lesser extent Huawei.

Of the four perceived problems raised, three were with the Xiaomi Mi 10T 5G device. They cover issues related to personal data use, an embedded app and potential freedom of speech infringements.

Lithuania’s censorship claims related to a built-in feature to block content based on a number of banned keywords. The ministry acknowledged it is not actually activated on handsets sold in Lithuania, but its presence alone constituted a risk.

“The device is technically enabled to activate the functionality remotely at any time without the user’s permission and to begin censoring the downloaded content,” the authority warned.

It claims words and phrases on the banned list currently included “free Tibet, America’s voice, democratic movement, Long Live the Democratic Taiwan”.

Outside of censorship, the ministry alleged the “abundant statistical data” collected by the browser is sent to Xiaomi servers in countries not adhering to European Union GDPR rules.

It also noted an encrypted SMS message was sent on registering for the company’s Cloud service, with its security assessors unable to verify what personal data (if any) were contained in it.

The other vulnerability claimed to have been uncovered by authorities relates to automatic redirection towards third party sites from Huawei’s App Gallery on the Huawei P40 5G: it claims some of the sites users were then sent to may contain malware.



Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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