News: 0133354714

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UK Bans Huawei From 5G Network, Raising Tensions With China (nytimes.com)

(Tuesday July 14, 2020 @01:33PM (msmash) from the how-about-that dept.)


Britain announced on Tuesday that it would ban equipment from the Chinese technology giant Huawei [1]from the country's high-speed wireless network , a victory for the Trump administration and a reversal of an earlier decision that underscores how technology has taken center stage in the deepening divide between Western powers and China. From a report:

> In January Britain said that Huawei equipment could be used in its new 5G network on a limited basis. But since then Prime Minister Boris Johnson has faced growing political pressure domestically to take a harder line against Beijing, and in May the United States imposed new restrictions to disrupt Huawei's access to important components. Britain's about-face signals a new willingness among Western countries to confront China, a determination that has grown firmer since Beijing last month adopted a sweeping new law to tighten its grip on Hong Kong, the semiautonomous city that was a British colony until 1997. On Tuesday, Robert O'Brien, President Trump's national security adviser, was in Paris for meetings about China with counterparts from Britain, France, Germany and Italy. Huawei's critics say its close ties to the Chinese government mean Beijing could use the equipment for espionage or to disrupt telecommunications -- a point the company strongly disputes.

>

> Arguing that Huawei created too much risk for such a critical, multibillion-dollar project, the government said Tuesday that it would bar the purchase of new Huawei equipment for 5G networks after December, and that existing gear already installed would need to be removed from the networks by 2027. "As facts have changed, so has our approach," Oliver Dowden, the government minister in charge of telecommunications, told the House of Commons on Tuesday afternoon. "This has not been an easy decision, but it is the right one for the U.K.'s telecoms networks, for our national security and our economy, both now and indeed in the long run." The dispute over Huawei, the world's largest maker of telecommunications equipment, represents an early front in a new tech Cold War, with ramifications for internet freedom and surveillance, as well as emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and robotics.



[1] https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/14/business/huawei-uk-5g.html

Half assed measures won't work (Score:5, Insightful)

by bleh-of-the-huns ( 17740 )

I'm not saying I agree with the ban or not. What I am saying is that in the event China is using the company to spy.. banning the purchase of new equipment while leaving existing equipment for another 7 years is stupid, as they will already have access to portions of the network...

If you are going to ban something, then scrap the existing infrastructure and replace it with something you trust.

Re: Half assed measures won't work (Score:5, Insightful)

by pele ( 151312 )

Meh, it's more of a "political" statement than anything else. Do you really think cisco routers and siemens switches are benign devices? Where do you think 007 gets his intel from?

Re: (Score:3)

by squiggleslash ( 241428 )

MI-6 et al don't really need specially modified phone switches to spy on you. Telecommunications protocols and standards are notoriously insecure, largely because most of the major protocols like SS-7 were designed back when telecommunications companies were large corporations who owned most of their infrastructure. If you're BT, you're not going to worry too much about France Telecom or BellSouth being able to reroute your calls, because there's no advantage to them in doing so.

Which means the whole thi

Re: (Score:1)

by BumboChinelo ( 2527572 )

Yes. A packet core network has multiple PCEF that tunnel user plane to the outside world. A very primitive way to exfiltrate data is to have a mobile perform port knocking so that PCEF recognizes it as a controller. From that point on PCEF can request the network to create specific bearers and tunnel for the purpose simulating the requests as originated from PCRF. Go find that data exfiltration. Same with ePDG/TWAG when the mobile uses maybe some very specific ipsec SA Even with source code it will be quite

I don't think it's just a political statement (Score:2)

by rsilvergun ( 571051 )

China seems to be doing empire building through economics.

The whole "spy" angle is silly because virtually all the hardware is built in China. So it took me a while to figure out why this mattered.

China is doing massive loans for infrastructure building throughout the world. They're also selling cheap gear that countries are liable to get dependent on.

This is part of a broader strategy to control the world and position themselves as a Super Power. Japan tried this in the 80s and 90s (go read Ido

Re: (Score:3)

by Ritz_Just_Ritz ( 883997 )

I think it's only a (short) matter of time before they use the "big army that goes around taking stuff" method too. They are simply preparing the ground work now.

Re: (Score:2)

by ghoul ( 157158 )

America built its empire with economics.

After WW2 when it was in a dominant position and pretty much could have absorbed western Europe , Northern Africa and South East Asia as States of the Union it decided to go with the IMF-WB based empire. Everyone trades in dollars and all dollar settlement has to route through New York banks. This means the US can screw anyone who does not do as US tells them (Iran and Venezuela being case in point). Further US can run as much deficit as it wants to fund the big ass m

5G is different (Score:3)

by goombah99 ( 560566 )

unlike all the G's before 5G, there's a paradigm shift a lot of people haven't built into their thinking yet. 5G reaches a point where there's enough channels to go fully connected. Your cars tires, every vending machine, your car, every door lock, distributed surveilance system, water pump, is going to be connected. Not all at once of course. but it's going to start now, and will grow with future Gs.

So it's not just a minor matter of a few possible backdoors in some cell phone towers. It's even unlik

Re: (Score:3)

by satanicat ( 239025 )

The whole IoT thing at that level really scares me... before even adding "5G" to the discussion.

Bryan Lunduke put on a pretty funny but eye opening talk on the subject. It's on YouTube as "How IoT Will Destroy Us All".

His point was made (to me) in the talk when he asked, how long does the average refrigerator last? He said something like 17 years, then he asked if you would connect a computer to the internet with a 17 year old operating system, as he put an image of "Windows ME" up on the projector.

How li

Re: (Score:2)

by cayenne8 ( 626475 )

> How likely are we to maintain your refrigerator's security patches? Will the vendor commit to maintaining security patches for 17 years for every model they sell?

> When you apply that level of thinking to components in cars, home security systems (cameras, microphones, locks etc) it gets pretty scary.

While I get what you're saying, for the life of me, I cannot fathom WHY I would ever need to have a computer, much less and internet connected on I my refrigerator??

I know, I've seen a few ads out there where

Re: (Score:2)

by cmseagle ( 1195671 )

> And as for cars...well, I don't see the need to have that connected to wifi or anything else either....what could that possibly gain for me?

It gives you the ability to remotely summon your self-driving car, of course!

Re: (Score:2)

by gbjbaanb ( 229885 )

the main reason is that "internet" is cheap and easy to add to create networking. Once you have that, you can plug it into various other things, particularly a smart elecricity meter, to manage resources better.

The obvious smart meter thing matters as our grids go more and roe renewable (ie intermittent) then you want to use as much power as possible when electricity is being generated by the wind/solar/etc and thus being able to turn your dishwasher or other appliance on at that time makes a lot of sense (

Re:Half assed measures won't work (Score:4, Informative)

by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

This doesn't have anything to do with spying.

The UK is headed for a pretty disastrous brexit in January. A trade deal with the EU looks unlikely and in any case won't be nearly as good as the one we had when we were members, so the UK is desperate to do new deals with other countries. The biggest potential trade deal is with the US.

So when the US says jump the UK asks how high. In this case the US has decided to destroy Huawei so the UK is obliged to join in, and security is the excuse chosen. The reason it will take 7+ years is that the UK doesn't really care and just wants to limit the damage, hoping that this act of fealty will be enough to convince the US to give it a good trade deal.

Re:Half assed measures won't work (Score:4, Insightful)

by Freischutz ( 4776131 )

> This doesn't have anything to do with spying.

> The UK is headed for a pretty disastrous brexit in January. A trade deal with the EU looks unlikely and in any case won't be nearly as good as the one we had when we were members, so the UK is desperate to do new deals with other countries. The biggest potential trade deal is with the US.

> So when the US says jump the UK asks how high. In this case the US has decided to destroy Huawei so the UK is obliged to join in, and security is the excuse chosen. The reason it will take 7+ years is that the UK doesn't really care and just wants to limit the damage, hoping that this act of fealty will be enough to convince the US to give it a good trade deal.

Oh, there will be a trade deal alright but it will mostly be a good deal for trade from the US to the UK, the UK to US part will not be a worth bragging about.

Re: (Score:3)

by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

How bad it is really depends who win the election in November. Many British retailers have already said they won't take American chicken, for example. If whoever is in charge is beholden to US chicken farmers for whatever reason that's going to be a problem.

There is also the issue of the Irish border. If that doesn't get properly resolved then US politicians on both sides will be reluctant to do a deal.

Re: (Score:2)

by cayenne8 ( 626475 )

> Many British retailers have already said they won't take American chicken,

Ok, I'll bite.

Why wouldn't they want US chicken?

Re: (Score:2)

by cmseagle ( 1195671 )

There's controversy over the practice of washing chicken with chlorine: [1]https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-... [bbc.co.uk]

[1] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-47440562

Re: (Score:2)

by Impy the Impiuos Imp ( 442658 )

Pull back the curtain and look at the little man there. Countries use spurious arguments about quality to protect domestic production since before you were born.

Japan banned rice imports, arguing "The sensitive Japanese stomach" couldn't handle it.

Having said that, the US does it, too.

Re: (Score:2)

by Impy the Impiuos Imp ( 442658 )

As far as Huwaii (and Tik Tok) go, this is about kicking the oligarchs in the nuts, who stand aside and allow, if not encourage, certain companies to gigantism, with associated stock price growth.

Re: (Score:3)

by Ecuador ( 740021 )

Is this a serious question or just flamebait?

The EU (whose laws the UK has been observing) has stricter regulations about some things including food. With chickens, they ban chlorine treatment, which is legal in the US. The problem is not with the chlorine treatment itself (it is considered safe after rinsing), but the fact that it can be used by farms to get away with low hygiene standards - they can have salmonella infestations, as long as they clean the chickens with chlorine dioxide in the end. Which is

Re: (Score:2)

by Impy the Impiuos Imp ( 442658 )

None of that, and prion fears too, has any bearing on reality. It's about protecting domestic producers. People are expected to buy in to the meme surface argument. Let's watch!

Re: (Score:3)

by Freischutz ( 4776131 )

> I'm not saying I agree with the ban or not. What I am saying is that in the event China is using the company to spy.. banning the purchase of new equipment while leaving existing equipment for another 7 years is stupid, as they will already have access to portions of the network...

> If you are going to ban something, then scrap the existing infrastructure and replace it with something you trust.

At best it is a good way to get yourself a hefty lawsuit for damages from everybody who has to trash their Huawei equipment and suffer the disruption and expenses that entails as they purge Huawei gear from their networks since nobody seems to be able to conclusively prove Huawei is using their equipment for spying. If Huawei were spying DJT would have tweeted about it long ago and he would have done it even before the top secret intelligence briefing was over. The bill for all of this will of course be off

Prudent and reasonable (Score:5, Interesting)

by Anonymous Coward

It doesn't really matter if Huawei is a security hole or not right now. Britain is obligated to react strongly to the Hong Kong contract violation. So using regulations to inflict pain is quite apropos, and Huawei is just the nail sticking up wating for a hammer.

On the other hand, it's a two-fer. You don't want to do something like that and then have the world see how ineffectual a slap it was. With Huawei, the US is already closing it's market, and it's plausible the EU will see it as a convenient target to rally around too since Erickson and Nokia are better choices for national security anyhow.

And of course then there's the whole fact that it's utterly true Hauwei is a bad actor, violates international norms, and is contracted by the Chinese armed forces and intelligence agencies not to mention chinese security laws. So why risk your primary communicaiton system on that. It's not that china might not feel the same way about Microsoft. that doesn't change anything about how one should view Huawei.

If china were not busy being imperialist in india and the souther oceans, stealing IP, manipulating currency, sterilizing muslims, violating international polution norms, and shooting down sattelites, it would be fine to view Huawei's govt connections as benign.

And don't mark this as Troll just because you disagree. This is a pretty reasonable opionion not a flame.

Re: Prudent and reasonable (Score:5, Informative)

by Way Smarter Than You ( 6157664 )

You forgot a few: Tibet, organ harvesting, prison/death for political dissidents, money manipulation, covid, supporting NK, South China Sea take over (although you implied it, should be called out), everything Hong Kong, endless threats to turn Taiwan into another Tibet or Hong Kong by force, hacking the world, financial abuse and take over of Africa and generally being evil totalitarian scumbags that make other scumbags look minor in comparison.

Mod Parent Up (Score:2)

by goombah99 ( 560566 )

Wish I had mod points.

China will monitor all 5G traffic (Score:1)

by Anonymous Coward

It doesn't matter whether or not Huawei is banned or not, they will have adequate presence in most other portions of the network to monitor and, if necessary during a wartime situation, complete shut it down if necessary in all portions of the world. Capitalist canon dictates you obtain your equipment at the lowest price possible, and let's face it China has that market cornered. We are a prisoner to our own flawed philosophy and they will absolutely use it against it - state subsidized if necessary.

Chinese technology (Score:5, Informative)

by Anonymous Coward

If you have Chinese technology, the Chinese Communist Party owns your information. It's just a question of whether or not they bother to collect.

All Chinese people and companies are required by law to fully cooperate with all requests for assistance with espionage. It does not matter whether or not they are in China or have ever worked for the Chinese government. If they have any family back in China they will cooperate with the request. They really don't have a choice in the matter.

[1]https://www.nytimes.com/2019/0... [nytimes.com]

The Chinese Communist Party has the same access to Chinese companies networks, code, designs and private keys that the companies themselves have. Using equipment like Chinese network equipment simply ensures that the CCP has access to any information that flows through that piece of equipment. The only question is whether or not they have to get access to the network itself to get that data to begin with.

[1] https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/13/opinion/china-canada-huawei-spying-espionage-5g.html

Re:Chinese technology (Score:5, Informative)

by Freischutz ( 4776131 )

> If you have Chinese technology, the Chinese Communist Party owns your information. It's just a question of whether or not they bother to collect.

> All Chinese people and companies are required by law to fully cooperate with all requests for assistance with espionage. It does not matter whether or not they are in China or have ever worked for the Chinese government. If they have any family back in China they will cooperate with the request. They really don't have a choice in the matter.

> [1]https://www.nytimes.com/2019/0... [nytimes.com]

> The Chinese Communist Party has the same access to Chinese companies networks, code, designs and private keys that the companies themselves have. Using equipment like Chinese network equipment simply ensures that the CCP has access to any information that flows through that piece of equipment. The only question is whether or not they have to get access to the network itself to get that data to begin with.

If you have American technology Facebook, Google, Twitter, Amazon, NSA, CIA, et. al. own your information. It is no longer a question of whether they will bother to collect it they have long since done so, warehoused your data and the corporate part of the previously mentioned set of entities has already sold your data to the highest bidder. Quite frankly, if you want to communicate these days without somebody collecting your data and sticking their nose into your private business you'd better use armed human couriers carrying heavily encrypted tamper proof USB sticks like Al-Qaeda does.

[1] https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/13/opinion/china-canada-huawei-spying-espionage-5g.html

War with China (Score:2, Insightful)

by backslashdot ( 95548 )

Paranoid nationalist fools are driving us to an inevitable war with China (which, as a reminder, has a nuclear arsenal of unknown size). We should engage with them instead and phase out the communist government gradually by other means.

Thanks to global trade, ChinaĆ¢(TM)s educated middle class is huge and their level of education, global awareness, and travel will make them get rid if communism eventually.

If we block trade with China it will only make their government stronger. Sanctions have never topp

Re:War with China (Score:5, Insightful)

by Anonymous Coward

> Thanks to global trade, ChinaĆ¢(TM)s educated middle class is huge and their level of education, global awareness, and travel will make them get rid if communism eventually.

That was the consensus view for a long time, but, frankly, it hasn't worked and it's not going to work.

China has existed as an educated urbanized totalitarian and proto-totalitarian state in various guises for over 1,000 years. Suggesting you're going to change that is naive.

Re: (Score:1)

by BardBollocks ( 1231500 )

Why should they change if they've been so successful?

Seriously, compared to all the murder and mayhem courtesy of the US and Allies causes the international community, China is fairly benign.

It's like people are ignoring the sharks, while pointing at a barracuda, because the sharks want to eat the barracuda next.

Re: (Score:2)

by Impy the Impiuos Imp ( 442658 )

Go live in China and learn the difference. Or go live in a country they have taken over or are helping, like through Africa, or Venezuela.

US derangement syndrome, where all world issues can be traced to imagined massive US influence (which never seems to work out that way) informs you to believe "the US is, gosh, just the worst", you type, from a free, western nation.

Re: (Score:2)

by backslashdot ( 95548 )

What's the endgame of your proposal? We cut off trade with China .. what happens next? Their government realizes the error of their ways and disbands the communist party?

We've been doing that for 50 years - doesn't work (Score:3, Insightful)

by Anonymous Coward

Engaging with China has resulted in massive wealth for the Communist Party, which has proceeded to use this economic power to put religious minorities into concentration camps and use them for slave labor, break it's treaty with Hong Kong and destroy it's legal system 30 years ahead of schedule, build their own Islands in the South China Sea simply to intimidate people, make the WHO ignore Taiwan about Covid even though Taiwan was right and stopped it in its tracks, and on and on and on.

Enough is enough. I

Re: (Score:2)

by ghoul ( 157158 )

If American companies wanted factories in Democracies with strong trade union laws they could have kept the factories at home. The entire point of going to China is if the Communist govt says a factory is of National importance than labor laws dont apply - Foxconn can run 16 hr shifts during the rush period around an iPhone launch, tesla can run a factory in the middle of Covid.

None of the other countries you mentioned has that kind of business friendly govt.

Re: (Score:2)

by Impy the Impiuos Imp ( 442658 )

China has its social credit system, as in Black Mirror, where they deny loans, rentals, even bus rides, if you are too uppity. They are building such a thing for their buddies in Venezuela.

This is ironic given communist theory complains that the bourgeoisie, the middle class, needs destruction because they are too much to overcome in a revolution, and are bought off by the rich by being given access to rich perks like loans and checking accounts .

Now the communists are the dictators. As they have been al

Re:War with China (Score:4, Insightful)

by MightyMartian ( 840721 )

That was theory back in the 1990s when the Clinton Administration moved to liberalize trade with China; that an affluent middle class would make political liberalization inevitable. It hasn't turned out that way. Quite the opposite, as the Security Law in Hong Kong demonstrates. Building and maintaining wealth in China means making no trouble and having absolutely no political ambitions at all outside of the Communist Party.

There is no coming liberalization in China. The assent of Xi Jinping to levels of power that the Party hadn't afforded anyone since Mao, is a sign that China is in fact de-liberalizing.

And this should come as no surprise. Even during the GW Bush Administration there were clear signs that China was looking at building an East Asian hegemony, and if there were any doubts, they were put to rest during Obama's Administration. I disagree with just about everything Trump does, and probably disagree with why he's going after China, but believe me, it won't change under Biden, because the policy of encircling China is one that dates back to the Obama Administration. The whole point of the Trans-Pacific Partnership which so many here railed against was to create a vast trans-Pacific trading bloc that explicitly excluded China, and force it to come to the table on matters both of trade and diplomacy. It would be a far finer tool than random attacks on Chinese industry which seems to be the Trump method.

At any rate, the Chinese Middle Class isn't going to demand political reforms. It has no expectation of them, and I see precious little evidence it even wants them. What it wants is stability. It doesn't want revolutions and sweeping reforms. It wants Beijing to keep the periphery suppressed (by which you can translate pretty much all non-Han Chinese) and use its military and economic muscle to maintain unimpeded movement of capital.

What the rest of the world, or at least those that haven't completely sold their souls to Beijing, need to do is to make it clear that trade at current levels is contingent on China's conduct, and the smashing of the "One Nation, Two Systems" policy with the Security Law in Hong Kong is precisely the kind of deliberalization that must be punished.

When will the UK join the US as a state? (Score:1)

by BAReFO0t ( 6240524 )

Officially, I mean.

Or are dogs not allowed at the human table?

Re: (Score:2)

by thevirtualcat ( 1071504 )

After Canada, obviously. /s

Alternate headline (Score:3)

by LenKagetsu ( 6196102 )

"Britain tells fascist to keep its spyware off the network. Fascist throws trumper tantrum."

Let's be clear (Score:2, Interesting)

by argStyopa ( 232550 )

"Raising tensions with China" is PERFECTLY FINE.

In fact, it's long past due.

China's been acting like an asshole for quite some time, and someone needs to quit enabling them and call them on their shit (or don't and accept them as your new hegemon. Hint: as much as you think the US has been warmongering arrogant cunts for the last 60 years, China may teach you a thing or two about arrogant cuntery).

A million Uighurs in 're-education' camps.

Outright territorial seizure of its neighbors land.

Complete disregar

Huawei refuses to provide 5eyes backdoors... (Score:3)

by BardBollocks ( 1231500 )

.. into the infrastructure products they produce.

There, I fixed the headline and the story.

This is just more of the "Pivot to China" propaganda, preparing our young people to fight a contrived war against China in 20-30 or so years.

Much like the kind of crap we grew up with in the 80's with Libyan Terrorist Vans and other Middle East targeting propaganda prepared the generations that fought in the first Gulf War and the illegal invasion of Iraq. Or "Rocky and Bullwinkle" int he decades before that.

Only the young should be falling for bullshit like this - the older people should recognise it for what it is - manipulation.

Re: (Score:1)

by BumboChinelo ( 2527572 )

wu mao

Tussman's Law:
Nothing is as inevitable as a mistake whose time has come.