Data-sharing agreement between the UK and US sets off alarm bells

A piece of legislation called the CLOUD Act has been the root of much debate in the past few days over its privacy implications.

The CLOUD Act requires social media services like Facebook to hand over private messages sent using communications networks. Previous attempts by Western governments to snoop on private conversations have been met with backlash by citizens.

Under former UK PM Theresa May’s government, a proposal was made that encrypted communications must be made accessible by...

By Ryan Daws, 01 October 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Government, Privacy, Surveillance.

Poland and the USA declare need for stringent checks of foreign telecoms gear

As concerns about foreign state influence over critical telecommunications equipment grow, Poland and the USA have signed a declaration calling for stringent checks.

The declaration was signed during a state visit to Poland by US Vice President Mike Pence.

"Protecting these next-generation communications networks from disruption or manipulation and ensuring the privacy and individual liberties of the citizens of the United States, Poland, and other countries is of vital importance," the agreement...

By Ryan Daws, 03 September 2019, 0 comments. Categories: 5G, China, Connectivity, Europe, Government, Industry, Infrastructure, Mobile, N America, Networks, Security, Surveillance.

Britain hopes to make a decision on Huawei’s role in 5G by autumn

Digital Minister Nicky Morgan says Britain should finally make a decision on whether to allow Huawei in 5G networks by autumn.

“We will make the right decision for the UK. I would hope we could do something by the autumn,” Morgan told BBC radio. “We’ve got to make sure that this is going to be a decision for the long term, making sure that we keep all our networks secure.”

The timing of Morgan’s comment is notable so close to the end of the G7 meeting in Biarritz, France....

Bolton: Johnson's government will look at Huawei 'from square one'

US national security advisor John Bolton has said during a UK visit that new PM Johnson's government will look at the Huawei issue "from square one".

Bolton is the most senior US government official to visit PM Johnson since he took office last month. The US has strongly warned its allies, especially those such as the UK in the 'five-eyes' intelligence relationship, against allowing the use of Huawei equipment in 5G networks.

“They [UK officials] said, in particular, they are...

Decision on Huawei and 5G in Canada to wait until federal election

Canada’s public safety minister Ralph Goodale has said that the Canadian people will have to wait until after the federal election later this year before it is determined that Huawei can provide equipment for the country’s next-generation 5G wireless network.

Canada requires more information from the US regarding the potential security threat the latter believes Huawei poses, he said.

By Telecoms, 31 July 2019, 0 comments. Categories: 5G, Connectivity, N America, Surveillance.

Britain is yet to decide on Huawei’s 5G involvement, but tougher industry controls will be introduced

Britain has said it’s “not yet in a position” to make a final decision on whether Huawei should be involved with 5G networks, but tougher industry-wide security controls will be introduced.

The debate over how much Huawei should be involved in 5G has raged on for years, and even before that to some extent with previous-generation networks. Currently, the UK has Huawei equipment inspected at the Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre (HCSEC) in Banbury.

Until last year, HCSEC reported it felt...

Ex-Homeland Security Chief: US-UK intelligence-sharing will be harmed if Huawei used in 5G

The former head of Homeland Security has issued a stark warning that US intelligence-sharing with the UK will be harmed if Huawei is used in 5G networks.

Governor Tom Ridge is the former US Secretary of Homeland Security and set up the department following the 9/11 terror attacks.

Speaking in London, Ridge said: “Much of the intelligence sharing is electronic and if you are relying on secure telecoms and they’ve got a front door, well I don’t know how many pigeons can fly across the...

Huawei campaigns to UK public amid negative publicity

While the debate over whether to ban Huawei from 5G networks continues, the Chinese vendor is appealing directly to the UK public.

Huawei is facing a difficult time over US-led action. The US has called on its allies to ban the Chinese vendor from 5G networks over national security concerns and has threatened to cut-off intelligence cooperation with countries that refuse. Spooked operators are

Trump lands in the UK as Tories signal Huawei climbdown

President Trump looks set to win the UK’s agreement to ban Huawei from national 5G networks following remarks from leading Conservatives.

Trump has landed on British soil experiencing more turbulence than in the air: Brexit uncertainty is hitting businesses, the outlook for industries like manufacturing across the wider eurozone is even worse, a departing prime minister, and protests around Trump’s state visit are just some of the problems faced by...

Trump and UK PM May to discuss Huawei ban as firm limits US contact

President Trump and UK PM Theresa May will discuss a Huawei ban during a state visit, as firm limits contact with Americans.

Theresa May will step down as PM on June 7th but will be in her post for Trump's visit. As the UK is a crucial US security partner, May's government has been under pressure from Trump's administration to ban Huawei over national security concerns.

A leak from a National Security Council meeting last night month suggested May's government was minded to allow Huawei's equipment in...

Huawei willing to sign ‘no-spy’ agreements, Trump preps ban of foreign telecoms firms

Huawei says it's willing to sign ‘no-spy’ agreements with governments while Trump prepares an order to ban foreign telecoms firms over security concerns.

During a business conference in London, Huawei chairman Liang Hua said:

"We are willing to sign no-spy agreements with governments, including the UK government, to commit ourselves to making our equipment meet the no-spy, no-backdoors standard.”

The suggestion comes amid growing concern from Huawei that it...

WhatsApp: ‘Advanced cyber actor’ installed spyware

OTT messaging giant WhatsApp has confirmed an ‘advanced cyber actor’ exploited a major vulnerability to install spyware on users’ devices.

With over 1.5 billion active users, WhatsApp is the world’s most popular messaging app. This popularity makes WhatsApp a key target for both independent and state-sponsored hackers.

The attackers compromised devices by making fake calls to victims’ devices. Users did not even have to pick up the call for the malicious code to be...

By Ryan Daws, 14 May 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Apps, Mobile, OTT Services, Security, Smartphones, Surveillance.

Pompeo: China wants 'to divide Western alliances through bits and bytes’

US secretary of state Mike Pompeo has claimed China wants ‘to divide Western alliances through bits and bytes’ amid threat to reduce UK security cooperation if the country allows Huawei in national 5G networks.

Pompeo was on a brief visit to the UK and warned the country not to ‘go wobbly’ over 5G security – paraphrasing what Margaret Thatcher once famously told late US President George H.W. Bush.

“In China, we face a new kind of challenge; an authoritarian regime that’s integrated...

Vodafone discovered backdoors in Huawei telecoms equipment

Telecoms giant Vodafone has revealed it discovered backdoors in equipment supplied by Chinese vendor Huawei that could have enabled spying.

Acknowledging the discoveries to Bloomberg, Vodafone said the vulnerabilities date back years. The issues have since been patched, but Vodafone claims they remained for some time after Huawei claimed they'd been fixed.

If exploited, the backdoors reportedly would have...

China's UK Ambassador: ‘Global Britain’ should make its own Huawei decision

China's ambassador to the UK has urged the government not to be influenced by allies when making its decision whether or not to ban Huawei from 5G networks.

Beijing’s ambassador to London, Liu Xiaoming, called on the government to make its own determination on the issue rather than follow allies like the US and Australia in banning Chinese telecoms equipment from official networks.

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Liu wrote:

Leak of meeting to decide Huawei’s UK 5G network fate causes fury

Politicians and security agencies have expressed fury over the leak of a sensitive meeting to decide if the UK should allow Huawei in national 5G networks.

Leaked information from a National Security Council (NSC) meeting appeared in the press on Wednesday just a day after it was held. Prime Minister Theresa May was in attendance to discuss if Huawei poses a substantial risk with security chiefs.

Jon Trickett, Labour’s shadow Cabinet Office minister, said:

“This Tory government...

US security officials plan for allies using Huawei 5G gear

US security officials acknowledge that some allies will continue using Huawei 5G gear despite their warnings and have planned accordingly.

Sue Gordon, the deputy to the director of the U.S. intelligence community, gave her views on the situation during a conference last week.

“We are going to have to figure out a way in a 5G world that we’re able to manage the risks in a diverse network that includes technology that we can’t trust,” said Gordon. “We’re just going to have to...

Trump: We’re going to build a great(er) firewall of America

President Donald Trump has accelerated the tech race against China by announcing plans to build a ‘great(er) firewall of America’.

The so-called ‘Great Firewall of China’ provides internet censorship in the country by preventing access to certain websites and slowing down cross-border traffic.

“Not keeping pace with China’s progressive attitudes to internet censorship was yet another failure of the Obama administration,” says Trump. “We’re going to change...

By Ryan Daws, 01 April 2019, 0 comments. Categories: China, Connectivity, Government, N America, Privacy, Surveillance.

UK issues first Huawei security report since US ban pressure

The UK’s dedicated Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre (HCSEC) has issued its first report since the US increased pressure to ban the firm.

HCSEC is based in Banbury, Oxfordshire and its oversight board issues annual reports raising any concerns about the company’s practices.

Last year’s report was noted as the first where HCSEC could no longer assure that risks had been...

Huawei’s US lawsuit will either backfire or prove its innocence

Huawei's lawsuit against the US government is a bold gamble that will either backfire or prove claims about the Chinese firm are unfounded.

The company has been embattled with the US for many years but has recently come under increased pressure ahead of 5G rollouts. Huawei filed a lawsuit against the US government earlier this month for what it called ‘unconstitutional’ treatment.

The US has been pressuring its allies not to...