Sunday, February 28, 2021

Huawei among Chinese companies helping Beijing spy on Uighur Muslims

Researchers uncover new details on how apps and tech companies like Zapya, Huawei and Megvii contribute to China’s surveillance and mass internment programme in Xinjiang.

Other News

2,437 kes positif, jumlah jangkitan Covid-19 kini melebihi 300,000

300,752 jumlah keseluruhan kes positif dilaporkan di Malaysia.

2,437 cases take total confirmed infections past 300,000

202 in the ICU, 93 in need of respiratory assistance.

PKR pertahankan tindakan wakil rakyat Amanah lompat parti

Ahli dalam Pakatan Harapan boleh bertukar menyertai mana-mana parti kecuali ‘seteru’ politik.

PKR defends Amanah party hoppers

It says members within the Pakatan Harapan coalition can switch parties but not to the 'enemy side'.

Duo says ready to help PM rebuild economy after quitting PKR

Larry Sng says there has been too much politicking, while Steven Choong says he is ready to contribute his professional expertise.

A new list of Uighur detainees believed to be leaked from Xinijang suggests that China continues to use sophisticated data collection technology to identify and arbitrarily detain members of the Muslim minority, according to a recent report by Human Rights Watch.

The group obtained a list of 2,000 detainees in Xinjiangs’s Aksu prefecture who were flagged by the Integrated Joint Operations Platform, a policing programme that aggregates data about people in the region from a variety of sources, and flags those it deems to be a potential threat.

“The Aksu List provides further insights into how China’s brutal repression of Xinjiang’s Turkic Muslims is being turbocharged by technology,” HRW researcher Maya Wang said in a statement.

“The Chinese government owes answers to the families of those on the list: why were they detained, and where are they now?”

The researchers found that the programme flagged people as suspicious for practising Islam, using peer-to-peer file sharing applications such as Zapya, travelling or being young, that is, “born after the 1980s”.

Such findings seem to match the Chinese surveillance and mass internment programme revealed in classified government documents obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists last year.

The China Cables investigation detailed China’s plan to control, detain and indoctrinate Uighurs, using prison-like structures and highly sophisticated mass-surveillance technology.

One bulletin showed how officials closely monitored Zapya, one of the apps identified in the HRW report, on some Uighurs’ phones and flagged its users for further investigation.

In 2018, the United Nations estimated that China held more than one million Uighurs and members of other Turkic minorities in mass-detention camps.

The Aksu List, dated around late 2018, follows another leak earlier this year from Karakax county, which listed people detained for having relatives abroad.

Additional details of China’s pervasive use of technology to target Uighurs were uncovered last week by surveillance research firm IPVM. The researchers found a confidential document by tech giant Huawei and artificial intelligence firm Megvii documenting the companies’ work on a facial recognition system that can monitor and track the minority.

Among the system’s many functions was one called “Uyghur alert”, which could identify a subject’s ethnicity and be used to flag a member of the minority group to authorities, according to IPVM.

Huawei told IPVM that the company was conducting a test and operates in compliance with the law. Megvii – which was blacklisted by the US in 2019 for its alleged role in the surveillance of Uighurs – denied its technologies are designed to “target or label ethnic groups”.

In response to the finding, French football star Antoine Griezmann announced he would end his sponsorship deal with Huawei.

A spokesman for China’s foreign ministry told CNBC that the report was a “slander”.

Follow us on Telegram for the latest updates:

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be updated with all the latest news and analyses.

Related Articles

China approves 2 more home-grown Covid-19 vaccines for use

China is exporting vaccines to 27 countries and providing free doses to 53 others, a foreign ministry spokesman says.

‘Communist supporter’ claims a lot of ‘organised fuss’ about nothing

MCA vice-president defends his speech at a recent event organised by the Communist Party of China.

China lambasts UK for ‘double standards’ over human rights for immigrants

Beijing has stepped up the rhetoric against London since Britain offered millions of Hong Kong citizens in its ex-colony the chance to obtain full British citizenship.

Chinese court orders man to pay ex-wife for housework in landmark ruling

The court ruled that the ex-wife had taken on more household responsibilities and should receive US$7,700 plus sole child custody and an additional 2,000 yuan or US$310 in alimony per month.

US proposes bill to combat Beijing’s censorship of American companies

The legislation would hold Beijing accountable for its growing efforts to stifle criticism beyond its borders.