The Japanese government on Thursday warned their agencies about using the free China-made software Baidu Japanese language input application in creating confidential documents. This came after reports that the IME, or input method editor, has been sending information to the Baidu servers without the consent of the users.
The National Information Security Center issued the alert when NetAgent Co., a Tokyo-based information security company reported that when users input kanji converted from hiragana full-width characters, the computer ID numbers and e-mail programs and word-processing programs information are then sent to the servers of Baidu Inc. Takayuki Sugiura, the president of NetAgent, urged people to stop using the software first until it is revised.
Japan’s Foreign Ministry said that five of its computers are using the Baidu IME program while the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology use it on two of its machines as well. Although the computers where the software are installed are not used for creating confidential documents, they already uninstalled the application as instructed.
[ via Asahi ]