Popular Chinese education app is a ‘surveillance device’ according to new report

A new report from the Open Technology Fund and a German cybersecurity firm claims that a wildly popular app presented as educational  by the Chinese authorities may actually be used to digitally monitor its citizens. The app Xuexi Qiangguo, or “Study the Great Nation,” has been downloaded more than 100 million times in China, and features quizzes about China’s history, politics, as well as news articles about the Chinese Communist Party. According to ABC News, the report indicates that the app “contains code that amounts to a backdoor to rooted devices, essentially granting complete administrator-level access to a user’s phone.” The app could potentially be used to access personal data from the user, and “purposely” uses a “weak cryptographic algorithm in areas containing sensitive user data.”