Who will control the Next Billion? – A Case of Chat Apps from Asia (#RightsCon 2014)


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(or Why I think it’s important to help improve data protection in East Asia if you really care about personal data of the internet Next Billion)

a presentation from RightsCon, 4 March 2014.

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Who will control the Next Billion? – A Case of Chat Apps from Asia (#RightsCon 2014)

  1. 1. Who will control the Next Billion? – A Case of Chat Apps from Asia (or Why I think it’s important to help improve data protection in East Asia if you really care about personal data of the internet Next Billion) @bact Arthit Suriyawongkul Thai Netizen Network Silicon Valley, 4 March 2014
  2. 2. Lead to Summary ● Mobile chat apps are now everywhere in East and Southeast Asia – – ● becomes a mobile identity – provides authentication service for 3rd party apps mobile social network platform – built for mobile from day one (unlike Facebook) These “chat apps” grow globally fast – – ● manufacturing influence (bundled to mobile handsets) “soft-power” cultural influence (K-Pop, J-Pop, Manga) Data of the mobile Next Billion will be more transmitted to/processed in East Asia
  3. 3. Summary ● ● Data will no longer concentrated in US/Europe, so should the attention of data protection too? Human rights standards so vary in other parts of the world and the protection may not cross-border – ● e.g. ASEAN Human Rights Declaration Privacy/cyber-security laws of East Asian jurisdictions will affect more people globally – your communication data and personal data could be one day regulated by Chinese law – through monetary and educational assistants, China and Japan already have influence in SE Asia cyber-security policy
  4. 4. The Apps and the Culture
  5. 5. All the Communications and Sharing (Group) Chat, Voice/Video Call, Media/Location Sharing, GAMES, AUTHEN/IDENTITY
  6. 6. Plus Cute Characters (Stickers) Where’s my sticker shop on ChatSecure and Cryptocat? :p
  7. 7. Asian People Love It
  8. 8. How Big They Are Now? Chat App WhatsApp Country of Origin US Number of Users 400M Line Japan 300M (50M in Japan) WeChat China 300M (200M in China) KakaoTalk Korea 130M ChatON Korea 100M
  9. 9. Growth Trends ● ● ● ● “Line, WeChat: Asian social networks move to conquer Europe” – AFP (29 Sep 2013) “How WeChat, Line plan to taken on Facebook, Skype” – The Times of India (30 Sep 2013) “Asian Messaging Apps WeChat and Line Challenge Silicon Valley. China’s WeChat and Japan’s Line Are Threatening the Global Growth of WhatsApp and Facebook.” – The Wall Street Journal (9 Oct 2013) … and the Facebook’s WhatsApp deal recently
  10. 10. Where is the Next Billion? ● Mobile internet users in Africa, China, South America, South Asia and Southeast Asia
  11. 11. The Control
  12. 12. Protections Across Borders “We want LINE Corp. to be the the first line of surveillance and send us any ‘suspicious’ activity on their app.” – Technology Crime Suppression Division, Royal Thai Police (2013) LINE Corp. in Japan said there’s no official request from Thai Police. Any request for personal data should be done under Japanese law. http://advocacy.globalvoicesonline.org/2013/08/19/thailand-wants-to-monitor-conversations-on-line-app/ http://www.telecomasia.net/content/naver-denies-collaborating-thai-govt
  13. 13. Violations Across Borders ● ● ● ● ● Some Chinese keywords got censored in LINE Study from Citizen Lab found regionally-based Keyword Censorship in LINE LINE in China operated by a Chinese company Censorship follows user, go across borders https://citizenlab.org/2013/11/asia-chats-investigating-regionally-ba sed-keyword-censorship-line/
  14. 14. Assumption (That Not Goes) Across Borders ● LINE did no encryption on 2G/3G network ● Metadata and entire conversations in plain text ● ● With small changes in data request string, can pull historical chat logs up to two months old. Made a wrong assumption that the 2G/3G network is already secure (in many countries, it’s not) ● http://www.telecomasia.net/blog/content/line-vulnerable-man-middle-attack ● https://citizenlab.org/2013/11/asia-chats-analyzing-information-controls-privacy-asian-messaging-applications/
  15. 15. Who will control the Next Billion? ● ● ● ● South Korea, Japan, China, and Taiwan are exporters of popular IT apps and devices. These countries have huge influence in Southeast Asia and emerging markets. Political, economical, and/or cultural. LINE is based in Japan. A subsidiary of a South Korean company. LINE China (“Lianwo”) is operated by a Chinese licensee. WeChat (“Weixin”) is based in China.
  16. 16. Japan/China Influences on Cyberpolicy (tech/law) in SE Asia ● ● ● ● ● ● Japan-ASEAN Information Security Policy Meeting Japan-ASEAN Ministerial Policy Meeting on Cyber Security Cooperation ASEAN Smart Network Initiative ASEAN-Japan Joint Information Security Awareness Raising Initiatives China-ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting ASEAN-China Information Superhighway Working Group
  17. 17. Asian values in your pocket ● ● ● ● As these chat apps/social network are growing, more data will be transmitted to, stored and processed in East Asia. “Asian values” embedded in these countries’ information laws will play more role in information freedom globally. Often times, in these countries, companies cooperate/collaborate with authority. No Transparency Report. Communication protocol is not open. Everything is behind the door. Asian values? From Japan? From South Korea? From China? From where?
  18. 18. What We Can Do?
  19. 19. Together, we can do more of this EFF’s “Who's Doing What?” (Tech) EFF’s “Who Has Your Back?” (Law) and this... ????? ????? ????? ????? ?????
  20. 20. @bact Arthit Suriyawongkul Thai Netizen Network arthit@thainetizen.org ● Parts of this presentation was presented at ● Regional Consultation on Freedom of Expression for Civil Liberties in Asia (22 Nov 2013, Bangkok) ● ● ● CNXP (6 Dec 2013, Chiang Mai) FOSSASIA (1 Mar 2014, Phnom Penh) Thanks for all the comments from those forums and social media.