UPDATE May 29 – the researchers provided us with this update to their report: “In an earlier version of this report, Google was incorrectly described as providing CDN services to a number of companies named within. While Google does use CDN technology to deliver certain publicly available resources to these companies, it is not accurate to suggest an active relationship between them on this basis. Twitter and Facebook were also similarly incorrectly described. The report has been updated to reflect this.”
Almost all US tech giants are banned from China when it comes to the consumer market, but according to reports, some of the biggest among them continue to do business there in web services.
Specifically, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and others are providing services necessary to power websites of Chinese AI surveillance companies that are blacklisted in the US for human rights abuses.
A number of these types of Chinese companies were added to the list in October, where they joined China’s telecommunications giant Huawei.
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Reports are now saying that Amazon and Google are responsible for providing web services to US-blacklisted companies Dahua Technology and Hikvision, while Microsoft’s products are used by AI startups SenseTime and Megvii, described as the country’s most valuable in this category.
Hikvision is also said to be using content delivery services provided by Twitter and Facebook.
Top10VPN, which publishes reviews of VPNs and produces research into privacy-based issues, said it managed to identify US tech companies involved in this type of cooperation with Chinese firms by using public tools, analyzing traffic to Chinese websites in question, and investigating their source code.
Top10VPN’s Simon Migliano said that US tech giants working with Chinese companies in the business of surveillance was controversial and could potentially result in the product made this way being used to endanger human rights anywhere in the world.
Meanwhile, the accusation the US administration has made against China’s tech companies involved in producing surveillance equipment – that Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and others are now reportedly working with – concern Beijing’s treatment of Muslims in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, as the country is implementing laws to fight extremism among this population.
This is something that congressional candidate Laura Loomer brought up this month.
But human rights groups have said that these are restrictive and discriminatory rules, including so-called reeducation camps allegedly for up to 1.5 million Muslims from this region.