In this paper presented at USENIX FOCI 2015 we use reverse engineering to provide a view into how keyword censorship operates on four popular social video platforms in China: YY, 9158, Sina Show, and GuaGua. We also find keyword surveillance capabilities on YY. Our findings show inconsistencies in the implementation of censorship and the keyword lists used to trigger censorship events between the platforms we analyzed. We reveal a range of targeted content including criticism of the government and collective action. These results provide evidence that there is no monolithic set of rules that govern how information controls are implemented in China.
Posts tagged “Surveillance”
At the 2015 USENIX Free and Open Communications on the Internet (FOCI) workshop, held in Washington DC on August 10, Citizen Lab and collaborators present three papers.
The papers include: investigation of censorship and surveillance on China’s most popular social video platforms, an updated analysis of China’s Great Canon, and examination of securing cookie-based identifiers from passive surveillance.
Hacking Team, a Milan-based developer of “offensive security” technology that markets its products to governments and law enforcement agencies around the world, was significantly compromised when hackers leaked nearly 400 GB of its internal data, including emails, client files, and financial documents. The leak was announced via Hacking Team’s own compromised Twitter account, and the content made publicly available. Among other things, the leaked documents confirmed our findings that the company sells its software to several governments with repressive human rights records, such as Ethiopia, Sudan, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan, and more.
The report, authored by Postdoctoral Fellow Christopher Parsons, examines how contemporary telecommunications surveillance is governed in Canada. He concludes that serious failures in transparency and accountability indicate that corporations are failing to manage Canadians’ personal information responsibly and that government irresponsibility surrounding accountability strains its credibility and aggravates citizens’ cynicism about the political process.
In an article published in the Institute for Research on Public Policy’s (IRPP) “Policy Options” blog, Research Fellow Jon Penney observed that the debate on Canada’s Bill C-51 Anti-Terror law has been “contentious and ranging, yet few commentators have drawn on experience or expert voices elsewhere to understand its implications.”