India has joined the list of countries concerned about allowing the installation of telecoms kit from Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE. The USA has banned the pair from winning contracts connecting phones from sea to shining sea, citing security concerns (although many feel its real worry is protecting local companies). …
It may not be a manufacturer of telco kit, but there are a lot of folks writing code for telco kit working there.
Is this just nations being paranoid, or do they really pose a serious security threat, due to close ties with the Chinese gov or something?
US Trade restrictions couched in 'security'
Even the dumbest politician should see this just another 'dirty trick' by the USA to protect it's falling exports. Devloping countries are used to these blatant attempts at blackmail.
Even Canada was screwed over, many times. in regards to softwood lumber. Time and time again Canada won adjudications under NAFTA and WTO yet the USA kept imposing special duties even though ruled illegal.
Out here in the Far East a recent series of export blackmail attempts have included FrankenFood, rice and beef. Hillary, the Bad Hair Woman, tried selling beef and Texas rice to Japan. Then she visited VietNam and mumbled about the USD$6,000,000,000 annual seafood exports to the USA along with suggestions VN allow GM seeds in along with dodgy US beef.
Unfortunately, for the US, the average VN food purchaser is very savvy and they still don't buy crap American beef that's laden with drugs nor tasteless rice grown from GM seeds in Texas.
If the US is so concerned with data safety, why is CISCO building routers in China and GE it's range of SCADA infrastructure control switches?
Besides, why does China need 'backdoors', the front doors of the world's supposedly leading technology centre are wide open and the keys so simple that even school children can diddle the locks.
Get real, Obamarama, we know what the US is upto, trying to sell exports.
Appearance greater than actual risk.
I think if China weren't such a famous hacker of systems, there would be less concern. Realistically, their kit is low risk. However, when you combine China's penchant for hacking, ZTE and Huawei's close ties to the Chinese government, with their expanding market share, you create the appearance of a issue, whether its true or not.
Consider the implications...
..of the ban on Chinese telecoms contributing to the infrastructure of the Western World. Does it not amount to an admission that they believe the Chinese could use their access to our communications systems to implant undectable surveillance even while under the kind of surveillance we could mount against them?
If they sincerely believe that this is even possible, I suggest that such confidence can only reasonably be based on experience...
Come on.. Everyone knows the aqua box guys have had the capability to do exactly what the new guys are being banned for, for a long time. if anyone thinks their major core switches and routers are more trustworthy than the competition, or that the NSA dont ensure back doors exist, well ive got a lovely plot of land to sell you, complete with a magic vista of planet earth...
Yet the sale of IBM's PC business to Lenovo doesn't even raise a few eyebrows.
p.s. Posted on a Lenovo laptop, via a Huawei wi-fi, so I guess I'm screwed!
Real vs perceived risk
All the major equip. vendors COULD have backdoors in their kit. The question really is, do they have strong affiliation to particular Governments that want to use those backdoors .. and how much do you care when they do?
Auditing software source code probably won't find the backdoors. They could be hidden inside the silicon. All it takes is a hardware trigger to cause the system to load a small piece of external code .. which can then load a bigger bit of code, and so on. Nothing really visible until it starts happening.
So the US is prepared to spend good money to take the suspect kit back out:
.. Canada, Australia, and now India are also concerned.
Whereas in the UK, of course BT famously awarded their 21CN deal to the big H.
More recently Minister Vince Cable welcomed them with open arms (well actually he welcomed their money).
There is now a joint project with GCHQ ..
That sounds like a dumb move to me.
If I understand this correctly, Shenzen will then know what our people know, and what they don't know.