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Tag Archives: Huawei Technologies

Europe Still Up in the Air Over Huawei

By The Editors of AGL

France is considering restricting the use of Huawei’s 5G equipment in major cities and imposing a shorter authorization period than either Nokia and Ericsson face, according to accounts in the French media.

The Chinese embassy in France said it was “deeply shocked and concerned” that the country appears to be changing its position, in a piece posted on its web site.

“President Emmanuel Macron and other senior French officials have repeatedly reiterated that on the issue of 5G, France will not take discriminatory measures against a specific country or company, nor would it exclude Huawei. So, if the French media reports prove to be accurate, it is clearly contrary to the commitment made by the French government,” the embassy wrote.

The back and forth between the Chinese embassy and French officials is just another example of how controversial Huawei continues to be in the 5G space.

In the United Kingdom, where it looked like the Huawei issue was settled, senior conservatives have written to MPs to express concerns at Huawei’s involvement in the UK’s 5G network, calling on Boris Johnson to rule out the involvement of “high risk” vendors now and in the future, according to a report in the Financial Times.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling conservatives are recommending tougher rules on 5G mobile networks from foreign vendors, while stopping short of banning China’s Huawei, according to Reuters.

Chairman Pai Calls For Huawei, ZTE USF Ban

In a move directed at rural wireless infrastructure, the FCC will consider rules that would prohibit the use of Universal Service Funds to purchase equipment or services, and to remove existing equipment, from companies that threaten national security, effectively locking out Huawei Technologies and ZTE.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai circulated a two-part proposal that would help safeguard the nation’s communications networks to the other commissioners yesterday, who will vote on at the commission’s Nov. 19 meeting.

“We need to make sure our networks won’t harm our national security, threaten our economic security, or undermine our values.  The Chinese government has shown repeatedly that it is willing to go to extraordinary lengths to do just that,” Chairman Pai said in a prepared statement.

To get around the ban, Huawei is looking to license its 5G technology to American company.

First, a draft Report and Order would bar communications companies from using any support they receive from the FCC’s Universal Service Fund to purchase equipment or services from companies posing a national security threat. The draft Order would also establish a process for designating other suppliers that pose a national security threat.

Second, a draft Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking would propose requiring certain carriers receiving USF funds to remove existing equipment and services from designated companies from their networks and seek comment on how to provide financial assistance to these carriers to help them transition to more trusted suppliers.  The draft item would also adopt an information collection to help assess the extent to which eligible telecommunications carriers have deployed Huawei and ZTE equipment in their networks as well as the costs to remove and replace it.

Opinion: Another Week, Another Embarrassing Threat Made to our Allies

By Ernest Worthman, AWT Executive Editor and IEEE Senior Member

This Trump Administration just will not change its rabid position on Huawei, in spite of the fact that, after all this time, there is still no real evidence that they are an evil empire out to destroy the world. Once again, this arrogant, assumptive, administration has threatened retaliatory action against Britain if they allow Huawei to be part of their 5G buildout.

It amazes me that, as baseless as the Huawei spying accusations has proven to be, that this administration just keeps going… and going… and going.

There must be support for all of this U.S.-nonsense, somewhere. But I do not see much of it. I have regular discussions around this with a variety of individuals; some close, others just in passing. So far, few think what the administration is doing is warranted.

I just wonder if all of this posturing from the United States is around our lack of ability to move on 5G as quickly as some other countries, particularly the Pacific Rim. Perhaps the administration feels Huawei, and China in general, bashing will help the United States get a better position in global 5G ecosystem and other playing fields. To wit, Trump has just announced via Twitter that he intends to hike U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods and target hundreds of billions more soon.

Let us take a sidestep for a moment. If we should harbor disdain towards any country, it should be Russia. They are responsible for more nefarious activities in this country than anyone else is; from messing with our elections to creating tons of malicious software that attacks every aspect of our digital infrastructure. Their potential, and certainly their motivation, for disrupting America is much greater than that of the Chinese. Most ransomware, identity theft, fraud and malicious code attacks originate in Russia. So why does the Administration not go after them?

When it comes to 5G, here is what I believe to be a major issue. This country has a good wireless infrastructure in place that meets most of our current needs. Moreover, present technology is nowhere near the wall. 4G is, only, about half way to maxing out. We are not India, Africa, parts of Europe, Asia, or other countries where little wired infrastructure exists and almost all of their communications is via wireless. Such markets have a real need for a next generation, ubiquitous wireless infrastructure.

We do not have that same need. Therefore, there is not the motivation to run out and build this new wireless infrastructure, full tilt. In many other countries, 5G will improve, dramatically, communications and vertical apps. Here, and in some other first-world countries, not so much. Therefore, the urgency to build out 5G varies across the globe.

It seems that the Trump administration does not understand how the world has become a single, interconnected technological, and commercial, entity that requires global economic integration. It believes that thumping on China is going to change our global position in this ecosystem. The good economic times we are experiencing is due to a global economic platform. We no longer control the world’s economy.

Now, back to Britain. I Imagine Britain’s Prime Minister, Theresa May, is sick and tired of hearing from the United States. The first time the we threated her with intelligence sharing that went nowhere. May did what she deemed proper and fired her defense minister over a leak of discussions around Huawei.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will tell the Prime Minister that the Huawei poses a security risk to Britain and, thereby, the United States, and threaten the relationship – again. Is not the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results? What is different this time than from past U.S threats? This drum has been beat to death. It is time for the administration to get over itself and start worrying about our real enemies (read Russia).

In this latest round, it seems someone forgot to tell Pompeo that the Brits are not a third world country with insufficient intelligence gathering capabilities. May is not a stupid person and the Brits have as good, perhaps even better, handle on global and national security than the United States.

Beyond Britain, the White House has continued to lobby, across the globe, against letting Huawei into networks. The latest being that the Chinese government has significant control over Huawei. While it is likely true, that is how China operates. In itself, that does not, necessarily, imply nefarious intent.

As I mentioned earlier, we have much more to worry about with Russia and North Korea. Yet President Trump continues to lead us to believe that Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-Un are the nicest people and have absolutely no interest in wreaking havoc on our country.

The actions of the do nothing to level the playing field. They only send everybody scrambling to find new sources and technologies – here in the states, that is. The rest of the world is just moving on as normal. Whom, exactly, are these policies hurting?

It is not that I discuss this empty headed. In addition to having my own confidants, recently I attended the CCA and smart city conferences. I talked to dozens of vendors about this, as well as speakers and attendees. With maybe three or four exceptions, nobody thinks banning Hawaii is a good idea. Their top responses were that it would only lead to higher prices and longer deployment delays – not just with 5G, but also other segments of the wireless sector. One vendor even told me it was our fault. We wanted cheap goods and turned a blind eye towards security, spying, and other potential pitfalls.

I will be going to the 5G conference next week in Denver and Connect X in a couple of weeks. I will play this record over some more there and again here, shortly thereafter.

Huawei Given Limited Access to British 5G Network

Britain’s National Security Council, which is chaired by Prime Minister Theresa May, will allow the Huawei to help build “non-core” parts of the country’s 5G network, such as antennas, it was revealed by the Daily Telegraph on Tuesday. The move came after repeated warnings by the United States concerning the security threat posed by the company, which is aligned with the Chinese government.

British Oversight Board Casts Doubts on Huawei 5G Equipment Security

The Prime Minister’s decision comes less than a month after the Britain’s Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre (HCSEC) oversight board declared in a report that it has no confidence in the Chinese 5G manufacturer.

“HCSEC’s work continues to identify significant, concerning issues in Huawei’s approach to software development bringing significantly increased risk to UK operators, which requires ongoing management and mitigation,” the fifth annual report from HCSEC reads.

The HCSEC facility in Banbury, Oxfordshire, belongs to Huawei Technologies (UK), which was set up eight years ago to evaluate the security for a range of Huawei products used in the UK. The oversight board is supposed to ensure the independence and competence of the HCSEC.

“The oversight board states only that Huawei’s development and support processes are not currently conducive to long-term security risk management and, at present, the oversight board has seen nothing to give confidence in Huawei’s capacity to fix this,” the report said.

European Union Takes on 5G Security

In view of the turmoil Huawei’s perceived security risk is causing European countries, the European Union (EU) decided to get involved. A political and economic union of 28 states, the EU called for action at the national, as well as European, levels to ensure cybersecurity. The EU called upon each member state to complete a 5G network risk assessment by the end of June 2019.

“Member states have expressed concerns about potential security risks related to 5G networks and have been exploring or taking measures to address these risks, as well as stating that they were looking forward to a common approach at the EU level,” the European Commission, an institution of the EU, said in a March 26 statement.

The national risk assessments will consider various risk factors, such as technical risks and risks linked to the behavior of suppliers or operators, including those from other countries[O1] . At the EU level, member states will be able exchange information on cybersecurity and receive the support of the EU agency for cybersecurity, the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security. Together they will complete a coordinated risk assessment by October 2019.

Action on cybersecurity in 5G networks must be addressed, according to the European Commission, because of the interconnected nature of the wireless networks, the cross-border nature of the threats and the rising technological presence of China.

“Any vulnerability in 5G networks could be exploited in order to compromise such systems and digital infrastructure – potentially causing very serious damage or in order to conduct large-scale data theft or espionage,” the European Commission said. “The dependence of many critical services on 5G networks would make the consequences of systemic and widespread disruption particularly serious. This justifies the need for a robust risk-based approach, rather than one relying primarily on ex-post mitigation measures.”

Fears of Huawei Remain

Nevertheless, the United States and other countries fear that Huawei is capable of installing backdoors in its wireless networks that can funnel information back to Beijing. And the Chinese appear quite willing to harvest that information. A few years ago, in one of its five-year plans, the Chinese government openly admitted that it wanted to dominate the world’s telecom equipment supply, and it would support its companies to do that. Not coincidently, the Chinese government funds Huawei and ZTE. As a result, the United States has called on its allies to ban Huawei with varying degrees of success.

Some have listened to the warnings of the United States. Japan, New Zealand and Australia are all in the win column for the United States, with their own Huawei bans. France is considering putting Huawei equipment on its “high-alert” list. Last December, the Czech Republic’s cybersecurity agency issued security warnings against Huawei’s equipment. But that number does not seem to be growing.

British Oversight Board Casts Doubts on Huawei 5G Equipment Security

By J. Sharpe Smith, Senior Editor

A mere six weeks after the United Kingdom’s National Cyber Security Centre concluded that the security risk of using Huawei’s equipment could be controlled, the Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre (HCSEC) oversight board declared in a new report that it has no confidence in the Chinese 5G manufacturer.

“HCSEC’s work continues to identify significant, concerning issues in Huawei’s approach to software development bringing significantly increased risk to UK operators, which requires ongoing management and mitigation,” the fifth annual report from HCSEC reads.

The HCSEC facility in Banbury, Oxfordshire, belongs to Huawei Technologies (UK), which was set up eight years ago to evaluate the security for a range of Huawei products used in the UK. The oversight board is supposed to ensure the independence and competence of the HCSEC.

“The oversight board states only that Huawei’s development and support processes are not currently conducive to long-term security risk management and, at present, the oversight board has seen nothing to give confidence in Huawei’s capacity to fix this,” the report said.

European Union Takes on 5G Security

In view of the turmoil Huawei’s perceived security risk is causing European countries, the European Union (EU) decided this week to get involved. A political and economic union of 28 states, the EU called for action at the national, as well as European, levels to ensure cybersecurity. The EU called upon each member state to complete a 5G network risk assessment by the end of June 2019.

“Member states have expressed concerns about potential security risks related to 5G networks and have been exploring or taking measures to address these risks, as well as stating that they were looking forward to a common approach at the EU level,” the European Commission, an institution of the EU, said in a March 26 statement.

The national risk assessments will consider various risk factors, such as technical risks and risks linked to the behavior of suppliers or operators, including those from other countries[O1] . At the EU level, member states will be able exchange information on cybersecurity and receive the support of the EU agency for cybersecurity, the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security. Together they will complete a coordinated risk assessment by October 2019.

Action on cybersecurity in 5G networks must be addressed, according to the European Commission, because of the interconnected nature of the wireless networks, the cross-border nature of the threats and the rising technological presence of China.

“Any vulnerability in 5G networks could be exploited in order to compromise such systems and digital infrastructure – potentially causing very serious damage or in order to conduct large-scale data theft or espionage,” the European Commission said. “The dependence of many critical services on 5G networks would make the consequences of systemic and widespread disruption particularly serious. This justifies the need for a robust risk-based approach, rather than one relying primarily on ex-post mitigation measures.”

Huawei Equipment Sales Moving Along Just Fine

Even with all the security fears, Huawei’s 5G sales continue apace. Last year, the giant Chinese telecom manufacturer rung up $105 billion in sales, up 19.5 percent year-over-year; its net profit reached $9.3 billion, up 25.1 percent year-over-year.

Huawei’s position in the East and the refusal of companies in the West to ban its equipment has the United States facing the reality that the security threats will be a constant in 5G networks in the future, according to the Washington Post.

“U.S. national security officials are planning for a future in which the Chinese firm Huawei will have a major share of the advanced global telecommunications market and have begun to think about how to thwart potential espionage and disruptive cyberattacks enabled by interconnected networks,” the newspaper reported yesterday.

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