Friday January 14, 2022
After indications of censorship BSI gives the all-clear for Xiaomi smartphones
A warning from Lithuania prompted the responsible federal office to take a close look at the devices from the Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi. However, after several months of testing, the experts could not find any security gaps. The company sees itself confirmed.
The Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) has not discovered any security gaps or indications of censorship functions in Xiaomi smartphones. This was announced by the authority. The BSI had been examining the devices from China for several months because the Lithuanian cyber defense had previously warned of security gaps and built-in censorship functions in Chinese mobile phones. The Lithuanians had specifically referred to the Xiaomi Mi 10T 5G model. The BSI did not find any abnormalities when examining “relevant devices”, the BSI spokesman said. No transmission of filter lists was found either. Therefore, no further research or other measures are required regarding the Xiaomi smartphones. The results of the investigations relate to Germany. A spokesman for Xiaomi welcomed the BSI statement. The results of the investigation confirmed Xiaomi’s commitment to transparent and responsible business operations, in which customer privacy and security are top priorities. “It has proven that we comply with all EU and national data protection and security laws and all applicable EU standards for our products.”
Serious allegations from Lithuania
In September, the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense recommended that consumers avoid buying Chinese mobile phones or get rid of devices they have already bought. According to the Lithuanian Cyber Security Agency, built-in censorship features have been found in Xiaomi smartphones, as well as a security vulnerability in certain phones made by the Chinese manufacturer Huawei. The Xiaomi cell phones sold in Europe would recognize and censor terms such as “Free Tibet”, “Long live Taiwan’s independence” or “democracy movement”, the authority said in the summer. Xiaomi had always denied the allegations. At the time, the manufacturer stated that it was using software to protect consumers from certain content such as pornography and described the procedure as a standard measure in the industry. Xiaomi is one of the world’s largest smartphone companies. The Mi devices from Xiaomi are also very popular in Germany. Relations between Lithuania and China have been strained for a long time. The opening of the Taiwanese government’s representative office in Vilnius – the first in Europe – caused trouble. China regards the island republic as part of the People’s Republic and is also putting pressure on companies such as auto parts supplier Continental to stop using components made in Lithuania.
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