Tech giants such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Google are among those companies which are still providing several web services to Chinese surveillance firms that are accused of human rights abuses and were blacklisted by the U.S last year.
This report was published by a site that reviews virtual private network (VPN) services and researches topics on privacy, Top10VPN. In the report it was mentioned that the U.S. tech companies are providing essential web services to 13 out of 18 of the world's most controversial surveillance companies to keep them online.
It should be noted that in October 2019, eight Chinese surveillance artificial intelligence firms were put in the U.S. Entry List, where Huawei's name is also mentioned. Earlier, it was reported that these Chinese firms allegedly make surveillance cameras, facial recognition software, and other technology that are present in the Chinese autonomous region, Xinjiang. There are many AI firms including Megvii, Yitu, and SenseTime, which were behind software used to racially profile and track Uighurs, a Turkic minority ethnic group.
China's Xinjiang region made headlines for its detention and "re-education" camps that allegedly hold around 1.5 million Muslims, many of them for breaching a "highly restrictive and discriminatory" law that China says is designed to combat extremism, says Amnesty International.
New Revelation About American Tech Giants
As per the Top10VPN's report, some of the services provided by the famous American tech giants include hosting the surveillance firms' websites and emails to authentication methods.
Simon Migliano, head of research at Top10VPN said, "Through providing essential web services to these controversial companies, U.S. firms are playing a part in the proliferation of highly invasive surveillance products that have the potential to undermine human rights around the world."
As per Top10VPN, the U.S. tech companies were noticed to be involved in using a combination of public tools, examining the source code of websites, and analyzing traffic to those blacklisted sites. Amazon and Google's name came under the spotlight who are allegedly providing web services two Chinese blacklisted companies, Dahua Technology, and Hikvision, while two most valuable artificial intelligence start-ups in the country, SenseTime and Megvii are using Microsoft's services.
The website authentication and encryption companies such as Digicert, Lets Encrypt, Entrust, and GeoTrust were mentioned in the report by Top10VPN along with GoDaddy and cybersecurity company Symantec, now known as NortonLifeLock. Twitter and Facebook were also found to have been providing content delivery network services to Hikvision.
Top10VPN's Migliano said, "Despite the Trump administration's efforts to decouple the American and Chinese technology sectors, the continued presence of American companies in more discreet settings shows that cooperation between the two remains."