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[liberationtech] Thoughts on expansion of WeChat in the U.S.?

Nathan of Guardian nathan at guardianproject.info
Mon Feb 25 11:51:34 PST 2013


On 02/26/2013 12:32 AM, Julian Oliver wrote:
> Traveling around Asia and Asia Pacific (where I'm from) you'll find many people
> that distrust China no more than they do U.S. The U.S military presence in the
> Pacific right now is turning many sour. China is looked upon by some as a
> protector in the region.

I agree, and there is a lot more Chinese $$ pouring into this region,
than US, so they are also seen as employers and benefactors.

Ultimately, the problem I have with the WeChat expansion, is that is has
ZERO security, not even basic transport security. Aside from the fact
that all messages are routed through Tencent's Shanghai data centers, it
basically means all of those messages are transmitted in plain text
along the way, through any sort of surveillance and filtering
infrastructure along the way.

This means, that any filtering, keyboard blocking, etc, that the Chinese
censors wish to put in place, affects the entire global user population.

It would be interesting to see, that as WeChat expands globally, if they
actually create different systems for non-China users, vs China users,
or how they try to manage the export of their surveillence and filtering
regime into "free" countries.

+n



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