Forced Labor Goods Banned by DHS from Xinjiang

forced labor goods banned
forced labor goods banned

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on September 14, 2020 that forced labor goods from China are now banned.  The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has issued Withhold Release Orders on products produced in China’s Xinjiang province.  In a statement Acting CBP Commissioner Mark A. Morgan stated that the forced labor goods banned sends “a clear message to the international community that we will not tolerate the illicit, inhumane, and exploitative practices of forced labor in U.S. supply chains.”

China’s Treatment of Uighurs in Xinjiang

The Uighurs are a native ethic minority in the Xinjiang province of China.  Most are Uighurs are Muslims.  The Chinese government has detained between 1 to 3 million Uighurs in “re-education” centers to undergo psychological indoctrination programs.  This program is considered the largest internment of an ethnic-religious minority since World War II. 

Along with torture, forced sterilization, and sexual abuse, Uighurs are subjected to forced labor to produce a number of products.  Many of these products are exported worldwide.  The Chinese Communist Party has a used forced labor camps since the days of Mao Zedong in 1949.

Australian Strategic Policy Institute Report

An investigation conducted by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute concluded that local governments and private brokers being “paid a price per head” by the Xinjiang government to organize detainment of Uighurs.  While the Chinese government claims detention is used to combat religious extremism, many have been detained for praying or wearing a veil.  The report called on international companies to conduct a review of their supply chains to ensure human rights are not being violated.

Xinjiang Forced Labor Goods Banned

The CBP has been ordered to withhold the release of the following goods:

  1. Products made with labor from Lop County No. 4 Vocational Skills Education and Training Center in Xinjiang.
  2. Hair products made in the Lop County Hair Product Industrial Park in Xinjiang.
  3. Apparel produced by Yili Zhuowan Garment Manufacturing Co., Ltd. and Baoding LYSZD Trade and Business Co., Ltd in Xinjiang.
  4. Cotton produced and processed by Xinjiang Junggar Cotton and Linen Co., Ltd. in Xinjiang.
  5. Computer parts made by Hefei Bitland Information Technology Co., Ltd. in Anhui, China.

These goods are being banned under Section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1307).  This regulation prohibits the importation of all goods and merchandise mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part in any foreign country by forced labor, convict labor, or/and indentured labor under penal sanctions, including forced child labor.  

China’s Continuing Trade Issues

China has been under increased scrutiny by the international community.  This is resulting in increased trade barriers being imposed by many nations including the United States. 

CVG Strategy Export Compliance

International trade laws are undergoing constant change.  This action concerning labor in the Xinjiang region is but one concern.  Remaining compliant to laws regarding import and export of goods requires constant vigilance and training.  CVG experts can help you establish and maintain an effective compliance program to avoid fines, penalties, loss of business and even imprisonment.  We can also provide the essential training to keep your team up to date.

Video Conferencing Application Vulnerabilities an Issue

Video Conferencing Application Vulnerabilities
Video Conferencing Application Vulnerabilities

Video conferencing application vulnerabilities have been frequently in the news during the Covid-19 pandemic.  During this time the use of these apps has skyrocketed due to remote work and schooling.  This has presented a tempting target for cyber criminals to steal information and disrupt activities.

Zoom Bombing Incidents

AL.COM reported that Saturday night Jewish prayer services in Alabama were zoombombed with anti-Semitic messages, swastikas, and images of Adolf Hitler.  The Selichot services held in Montgomery, Mobile, Auburn and Dothan were being held on the online video conferencing platform Zoom in lieu of in person services due to the coronavirus pandemic.

On September 14, 2020 a federal court hearing in Georgia challenging voting machines was interrupted with videos of 9/11 attacks, swastika, and porn.  Again the Zoom app was being used in the session.

A Chicago Public School virtual elementary classroom session was subjected to images of pornography and weapons.  This incident involved the Google Meet video conferencing application. 

Secure Video Conferencing Apps

All video conference tools have potential security issues.  Many however have had a history of repeated incidents involving disruption and compromise of sensitive information. 

Zoom for example was hit with multiple lawsuits for selling user data to Facebook.  Additionally, the company left thousands of personal videos on the open web.  As a result names, phone numbers, and intimate conversations were left viewable on the Zoom cloud.

There are many video conferencing apps available to the public that are considered safer to use.  These apps use End-to-end encryption, also known as E2EE, to ensure that only the participating users and access messages or media.  A TechieTechTech review rated Signal Private Messenger, Wire Platform, Facetime, and Linphone favorably. 

Video Conferencing Security Best Practices

Video conferencing is becoming more and more of a necessity as the Covid pandemic requires people to work from home and engage in virtual classrooms.  Cyber security is everybody’s responsibility.  Any application or service can be compromised by ineffective practices by the user. 

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has released guidance for securing video conferencing.  This guidance includes tips on how to ensure secure connections, control access, manage data access, and ensure latest versions of applications.  Specific guidance for remote classrooms can be found on a previous post “Teleconferencing Guidance for Education“.

CVG Strategy Cybersecurity

Video conferencing application vulnerabilities pose a significant threat to the well being and security of our families, communities, and organizations.  Our cybersecurity experts are committed to upgrading the cybersecurity awareness and preparedness of businesses and organizations. 

We can assist you in developing Information Security Management Systems (ISMS) appropriate to your unique requirements.  We specialize in ISO 27001, NIST 800-171, and CMMC Certification.  A properly structured ISMS can help your organization identify risks, employ effective security measures, and create incident response plans.