Asia Chats: Analyzing security and privacy of mobile messaging apps

Masashi Crete-Nishihata

Masashi Crete-Nishihata

Date: March 30, 2015
Time: 13:00 – 14:00
Venue: Digital Media Lab, G/F, Eliot Hall, JMSC, HKU

Across Asia chat apps such as WeChat, Line, and KakaoTalk are amassing huge user bases and aggressively pushing into new markets.

The growth of these applications and strategies from the companies behind them to attract an international user base raise questions regarding the kind of pressures they may face in specific jurisdictions to censor or monitor communications and provide governments with user data, and how they will respond to these demands.

The Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto has been actively researching privacy, security, and information controls in popular Asian chat apps. This talk will present recent results from this research and engage the audience in discussion around open research questions and future directions to consider.


Masashi Crete-Nishihata is research manager at the Citizen Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto. He has a background in political science and human computer interaction. His current research focuses on information controls and their impact on human rights. Recent publications include work on multidisciplinary approaches to studying Internet censorship, targeted malware attacks against civil society groups, and keyword filtering and surveillance in chat apps popular in Asia.