In the News & Our Opinion
What is in the News?
“The real challenge for consumers is that there’s a lot of things they can buy on Amazon, Target, Best Buy. They have no idea there is security vulnerabilities in there and our sort of regulatory system, even though we have lots of regulations all over the place it doesn’t follow through to the end consumer,” Roslyn Layton said on CNBC’s Squawk Box.
Each year, established technology companies roll out new deals, promotions and offerings on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Advertisements for these products will highlight their affordability, performance and practicality. They will also ignore their vulnerabilities and threats to consumer privacy. Huawei phones, Lenovo laptops, Lexmark printers and GoPro cameras are four examples of products whose flaws must be known by consumers in the west before they consider buying them this holiday season.
While public discussions of U.S.-China relations focus overwhelmingly on tariffs, threats tied to cyberespionage also are getting increased attention from commentators and government officials. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), for example, is tackling problems associated with Chinese firm Huawei, particularly its equipment’s use in next generation (5G) communications networks. Security concerns, however, go well beyond Huawei and beyond 5G.
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted 5-0 Friday to designate China’s Huawei and ZTE as national security risks, barring their U.S. rural carrier customers from tapping an $8.5 billion government fund to purchase equipment.
Recently I caught up with Congressman Mike Gallagher (R-WI8) who co-chairs the bipartisan Cyberspace Solarium Commission charged with developing an all-of-government, all-of-society approach to empower the United States to address its cybersecurity challenges. The commission, chartered as part of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), is named for Eisenhower’s Solarium Project, then a competition of ideas to develop the strategy against the Soviet Union. The Congressman is well-skilled for the job, having served twice in Iraq as a Marine Corps intelligence officer, as a counterintelligence officer in the Middle East and Central Asia, and as a member of the CENTCOM (Central Command) assessment team. He then earned a PhD from Georgetown and staffed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Today as a member of the House Committees for Armed Services and Transportation and Infrastructure, he leads efforts to address threats from China and to restore America’s technological leadership.
Read more here.
Strand Consult published a detailed report which discredits claims that banning 5G products from Chinese telecom firms Huawei and ZTE would cost the European Union $62 billion more, and delay 5G rollout.
The new report, titled “The Real Cost to Rip and Replace Chinese Equipment in Telecom Networks,” responded to a June 2019 analysis by the Global System for Mobile Association (GSMA), a global trade lobby group representing 800 mobile operators and 300 supplier companies. GSMA claimed banning telecoms equipment from China’s state-controlled Huawei and ZTE would add an additional $62 billion in cost and delay for an extra 18 months the deployment of 5G networks in Europe.
Read more here.
Huawei’s dominance of rural America’s internet equipment market is threatened by the “Integrated Access Backhaul” (IAB) technology that will slash the cost for rural access.
On the 28th day after his inauguration, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. In addition to spending $831 billion on economic stimulus, ARRA directed the Federal Communications Commission to establish the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program to award about $4.5 billion in subsidies for rural and underserved community wireless and internet services.
AT&T, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, and Sprint as the largest U.S. wireless companies—with almost 450 million individual and business accounts—had been unwilling to lose tens of billions of dollars to supply high-speed rural wireless access without compensation.
The 55 carriers that serve up to 100,000 subscribers each and are represented by the Rural Wireless Association, received subsidies and spent most of the cash on deeply discounted networking gear from China’s Huawei and ZTE. As a result, about 25 percent of U.S. territory and 4 million Americans rely on Chinese networking hardware.
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Last Sunday, the National Association of State Chief Information Security Officers came to Nashville, an event that normally flies under the media radar but plays an immensely important role in the security of American citizens.
This year the conference focused on areas like cybersecurity and malware, two issues vital to citizens of Tennessee and the greater United States.
Tennessee CIO Stephanie Dedmon understands that “[citizens] want to get to the services they need as quickly as possible on whatever device is easiest for them.” This notion rings universally true for the American public, making the security of each of those devices ever more important for CIO’s across the country.
Read more here.
BEIJING—China is using a widely downloaded mobile app and a translation service to hoover up billions of pieces of data inside its borders and around the world, according to reports published in recent days by researchers in Australia and Germany.
While policy makers in the West have trained their focus on China’s advances in next-generation cellular technology and invasive cyber-surveillance capabilities, the new research suggests that Beijing has broadened its mass-data-collection efforts to include relatively innocuous technologies, such as language translation.
A Chinese propaganda app that has been likened to a digital-age “Little Red Book” of Chairman Mao’s quotations and that has racked up more than 100 million registered users provides a potential backdoor for the Chinese Communist Party to log users’ locations, calls and contact lists, according to a report published Saturday by German cybersecurity company Cure53. The report was commissioned by the Open Technology Fund of U.S.-financed Radio Free Asia.
Read more here.