Tuesday: US government warns of spyware, surveillance allegations against Xiaomi

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The US government warns its citizens of the dangers posed by commercially available surveillance software. Meanwhile, the national communications authority in Taiwan is raising censorship and surveillance allegations against the Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi. And the c’t explains why the Telegram messenger service does not necessarily help against spying on personal communication as is commonly assumed – a brief overview of the most important messages.

Given the increasing use of monitoring software like Pegasus from the Israeli NSO Group the US government advises its citizens to act as if their smartphones were already compromised. Commercial surveillance tools sold to governments and other entities allow attackers to infect mobile and Internet-connected devices with malware over both WiFi and cellular data connections, the US government warns of commercially available spyware.

In the future, Trojans may no longer be needed to infect smartphones with spyware. Sold in Taiwan 10T smartphones from the Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi can filter sensitive political terms and prevent links to related websites. The program is also able to transmit the websites visited by the users to servers in China, said the National Communication Commission (NCC) of Taiwan in a press release and is raising allegations of censorship and surveillance against Xiaomi.

As long as spies have not established themselves on the end device, end-to-end encryption promises the best possible protection. Signal and Whatsapp lead in the messenger area. Telegram is often advertised as a safer WhatsApp alternative. C’t colleague Jan-Keno Janssen explains why you shouldn’t use Telegram for personal communication.

A Secret project of the US company Google should discourage employees from unionizing. From the end of 2018 to the beginning of 2020 the data company fought union organizing efforts with the “Project Vivian” campaign in the company. Now there are new revelations about Google’s anti-union strategy. A judge now orders the release of internal company documents, which thus become part of a labor law procedure.

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The departure from the Federal Ministry of Health will probably not result in labor law proceedings. But it is not just any official who switches sides. The former head of the department “Gematics, Telematics Infrastructure and eHealth” goes into the private sector. There is a potential conflict of interest in the room. Because the sub-department head in the Ministry of Health is now working as a client partner at IBM.

Also important:

  • Myanmar’s military dictatorship tries hard to keep students and other citizens off the Internet. In addition to price increases and new taxes, she is even using landmines against the Internet.


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