Teknoku.me – Europe is one of Xiaomi’s markets to market its flagship phones. However, Xiaomi’s existence in Europe is a bit threatened after being under the spotlight of the Lithuanian government.
The Lithuanian Minister of Defense mentioned that Xiaomi phones have an innate ability to censor information.
Reuters reported, the Lithuanian government gave examples of censored terms, namely “Free Tibet”, “Long live Taiwan Independence”, or “democracy movement”.
The National Cyber Security Center of the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense said that the censor capability in the software of one of Xiaomi’s flagship phones, the Mi 10T 5G, had been turned off.
However, this capability can be activated by Xiaomi remotely at any time. This phone was also marketed in Indonesia in December 2020.
In more detail, the report states that some of the pre-installed applications on the Mi 10T 5G including Mi Browser, sometimes receive a list of search keywords that are blocked by the phone manufacturer.
As reported by Android Authority, the block list is allegedly given the name “MiAdBlocklist”. The capability is said to be implemented in several applications, such as Cleaner, package installer, and Security.
From this, it is suspected that the blocklist has more to do with the advertising system at Xiaomi than the communication system.
The report also mentions the data collected by Mi Browser and the sending of encrypted SMS from the user’s device when registering to Xiaomi’s cloud storage. The encrypted data is said to be sent by Xiaomi to a server located in Singapore.
According to the Lithuanian cybersecurity agency, this poses a risk of leaking personal data because there is no way of knowing what was sent in the encrypted data.
Xiaomi responded to a report from the Lithuanian government. The Chinese company said that Xiaomi devices do not censor communication from or to users.
“Xiaomi has never and will never limit or block the personal behavior of our smartphone users, such as searching, calling, browsing the web, or using third-party communication software,” explained a Xiaomi representative.
“Xiaomi respects and fully protects the legal rights of all users. Xiaomi complies with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union,” added the Xiaomi representative.