Keeping an eye on Communist, Totalitarian China, and its influence both globally, and we as Canadians. I have come to the opinion that we are rarely privy to truth regarding the real goal, the agenda of Red China, and it's implications for Canada [and North America as a whole]. No more can we rely on our media as more and more information on China is actively being swept under the carpet - not for consumption.
Monday, June 22, 2020
WeChat monitors foreigners' chats to feed its Chinese censorship machine, investigation finds
The internet in China is different from the internet in the rest of the world. Services are heavily censored by the state, making it impossible to discuss unsanctioned political topics on the web openly. WeChat, in particular, is known to monitor and censor its platform in China. However, an investigation byThe Citizen Labshows that WeChat doesn't only monitor Chinese citizens, but also extends this activity to people all over the world using the app. It does that to feed its censorship algorithms, which helps filter out certain content proactively. WeChat essentially crowd-sources international users' data.
The Citizen Lab found out that images and documents shared between accounts registered outside of China are analyzed for politically sensitive content. Positive samples are then hashed and automatically flagged when someone tries to share them with a Chinese account. The flagged content is also fed to the machine-learning system used to censor communication in the country. WeChat's terms and policies don't indicate any of that happening, and there is no publicly available information detailing that the platform uses this data to build its censorship machine.
Since server-side monitoring is inherently hard to register without access to the server, The Citizen Lab developed a two-channeled experiment. It registered both China-based and international accounts and shared newly created, potentially politically sensitive images in a group between the international accounts. The same image files were automatically and instantly censored when they tried to send them to Chinese accounts afterward, strongly suggesting that the communication on non-China-based accounts were subject to surveillance, too, since the prohibited content was already known and hashed.