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New Bill Seeks to Ban Intelligence Sharing With Countries Using Huawei 5G Equipment

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Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) has introduced a bill that seeks to prohibit U.S. intelligence agencies from sharing information with countries that use Huawei's 5G networking equipment, citing national security risks. 

“The United States shouldn’t be sharing valuable intelligence information with countries that allow an intelligence-gathering arm of the Chinese Communist Party to operate freely within their borders," Senator Cotton said in a statement, as per CNBC. "I urge our allies around the world to carefully consider the consequences of dealing with Huawei to their national interests."

The U.S. government shares intelligence information and tools with other countries within the Five Eyes, Nine Eyes and Fourteen Eyes spy alliances, as well as through other means. For example, the recently passed Cloud Act allows the U.S. government to enter deals with each individual country to bypass each other’s judicial process and a warrant requirement in order to gain direct access to the digital data of their own expatriates, even if the data is hosted abroad.

The U.S. government itself banned Huawei, ZTE and other Chinese-manufactured devices in federal agencies, due to the same espionage worries. More recently, the Pentagon also started banning some Chinese applications, such as the social networking app TikTok, from being accessed on military networks. 

The U.S. government began urging its allies to drop Huawei from it critical telecommunications infrastructure last year, arguing that Huawei can’t be trusted not to enable the Chinese government’s espionage operations. 

Some, such as Japan and Australia, agreed to do that, but others, including the UK and Germany, are a little more reluctant, primarily because their national telecom companies have already purchased large quantities of Huawei equipment in order to deploy 5G networks. 

The UK government has said that its core network components and networks used to share intelligence will not make use of Huawei equipment. However, the U.S. government continues to pressure the UK government to drop Huawei completely. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was supposed to meet with the British Foreign Minister last Thursday, but the meeting was canceled at the last minute, due to bad weather.

Huawei has always denied allegations that it helps the Chinese government spy on its foreign customers of 5G networking gear.

  • bit_user
    I think there's probably a better way to deal with these concerns than to simply blacklist specific countries as networking suppliers.

    A better solution would be to require that all such equipment and its software undergo cyber security audits, and that the source code for the software be kept in escrow, for the sake of investigating any future cyber security incidents.

    Blacklisting Huawei doesn't protect you from rogue employees at a supplier in a "safe" country inserting malicious back doors. Nor does it guarantee that those products from "safe" countries won't have bugs or unintentional holes that enable them to be compromised.
    Reply
  • Tigs01
    New Bill Seeks to Ban Intelligence Sharing With Countries Using Huawei 5G Equipment : Read more
    Ha Ha, classic... No wonder you lot have problems in the 'States. The give away is the line: "More recently, the Pentagon also started banning some Chinese applications, such as the social networking app TikTok, from being accessed on military networks."
    In the UK and Europe you would be chucked in a dungeon and the key thrown away for using ANY social network apps on ANY military device. These are supposed to be secure military systems, not for your own social playing.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    Tigs01 said:
    Ha Ha, classic... No wonder you lot have problems in the 'States. The give away is the line: "More recently, the Pentagon also started banning some Chinese applications, such as the social networking app TikTok, from being accessed on military networks."
    In the UK and Europe you would be chucked in a dungeon and the key thrown away for using ANY social network apps on ANY military device. These are supposed to be secure military systems, not for your own social playing.
    I think that was a misquote. I believe what they mean is that they don't want soldiers to use TikTok on their own personal phones, in military installations.

    Obviously, using such apps on military equipment should result in disciplinary action.
    Reply
  • nofanneeded
    bit_user said:
    I think there's probably a better way to deal with these concerns than to simply blacklist specific countries as networking suppliers.

    A better solution would be to require that all such equipment and its software undergo cyber security audits, and that the source code for the software be kept in escrow, for the sake of investigating any future cyber security incidents.

    Blacklisting Huawei doesn't protect you from rogue employees at a supplier in a "safe" country inserting malicious back doors. Nor does it guarantee that those products from "safe" countries won't have bugs or unintentional holes that enable them to be compromised.

    Today , spying is made in the hardware level not simply opensource software. it is impossible to know which part in a chip onboard is spying on you . almost impossible.

    they spying program can be "hidden" inside chips very well.

    Look at intel design for example , the "bugs" we are finding today were intentionially ignored for tens of years since the time of Core 2 duo ... and was discovered 10+ years later , I dont believe intel did not know about them. they were used to spy until discovered. and the new CPU design will have backdoors 1000%
    Reply
  • bit_user
    nofanneeded said:
    Look at intel design for example , the "bugs" we are finding today were intentionially ignored for tens of years
    Do you have a credible source on that?

    Part of the problem with your story is that these side-channel vulnerabilities are not terribly easy to exploit. If you were trying to intentionally put a backdoor in a chip, that isn't how you'd do it.
    Reply