App Privacy and Controls

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Research into privacy, security, and information controls of popular applications.

Latest Research

Asia Chats: Investigating Regionally-based Keyword Censorship in LINE

This report by Seth Hardy (Senior Security Analyst, Citizen Lab)
describes the technical details of client-side censorship functionality
in the LINE messenger client for Android, and a method for disabling it.
This post is the first in a series of research reports analyzing
information controls and privacy in mobile messaging applications used
in Asia. An introduction to the project can be found here

Who’s the Boss? The difficulties of identifying censorship in an environment with distributed oversight: A large-scale comparison of Wikipedia China with Hudong and Baidu Baike

This project is a large-scale comparison of the three services, matching thousands of Chinese-language Wikipedia articles with their in-China counterparts, in order to identify the “content gaps” in the two baike. The difficulties of identifying traditional cases of information control in environments with distributed oversight like online enclopedias will be discussed. The research methodology and some of the initial results (including tables of possibly censored articles) will also be presented.

China Chats: Tracking surveillance and censorship in TOM-Skype and Sina UC

In this collaborative study between the Citizen Lab and Department of Computer Science at the University of New Mexico we examine the implementation of censorship and surveillance in two IM clients maintained by two different Chinese companies. For a period of more than a year and a half, we downloaded and decrypted the censorship and surveillance keyword lists used by the client software of two IM programs used in China: TOM-Skype and Sina UC.