Reply to post: 100% nonsense as usual

Decoding the President, because someone has to: Did Trump just blow up concerted US effort to ban Chinese 5G kit?

Milton Silver badge

100% nonsense as usual

Trump is simply talking his usual childish drivel, repeating half-baked, poorly understood points from whatever cable news he was watching most recently—or whichever of his lickspittles and lackeys last got his ear. His tendency to repeat Fox 'News' lies and daft propaganda after a session stuffing his carcase with burgers in front of the telly is by now very well known. The only thing that makes these statements interesting (to a psychiatrist?) is how he so often gets the wrong end of the stick, doesn't remember key facts or simply invents things, like a boastful child. He has credibility with his apologists only because (a) they're even dumber than he is, and/or (b) he's a racist, misogynist, regressive slug, and they'll forgive everything else if they can have that. Those two categories pretty much explain the support of his aptly named 'base' and GOP/Fox, respectively.

As I've argued before, given China's history of bad behaviour and the nature of its government, we have to go by capabilities rather intentions, and for that reason western democracies should by exceedingly cautious before using any Chinese soft or -hardware. It's just too easy to secrete mal- and spyware into almost any electronic component you can think of, and arguably even easier with software when you have anything from 10⁴ to 10⁶ or more lines of code. I am not convinced by "But they share their source code" because (a) it is possible to be extremely sneaky, even unto meddling with hashes, and (b) that still doesn't cover the hardware, and I defy anyone to prove that every fantastically complex multi-layer motherboard coming out of the 恶意的混蛋 plant is precisely identical to the 50,000 others and does not have a 1mm² 'extra' snuck into Layer4 under a fat electrolytic (or even inside said capacitor).

I agree with the grown-ups on this: nothing touched by the Chinese should be allowed anywhere near secure or confidential data systems or networks or national infrastructure. The possibiltiies for mischief are sky high. the temptation is unquestionably there. And their government's motives are demonstrably vile.

It will do the west no harm to skill up in these areas (perhaps even a long term benefit); there is no pressing urgency about 5G (it can barely penetrate a brick wall, FFS, and self-driving cars are in the slow lane, whatever the manufacturers claim); and anything that damages the Chinese economy, while it may cause us some pain, certainly saps the dollars they will otherwise use to build aircraft carriers and amphibious assault ships.

And if anyone is thinking about Osborne's witlessly stupid Hinkley-C nuclear plant (Tory chancellor partnering with a communist totalitarian regime and a foregin nationalised energy company, you couldn't invent more reekingly hypocritical shit), yes, I agree: if we're kicking Huawei out, having Chinese involvement in a strategic national nuclear infrastructure project is clearly batshit lunacy.

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