Displaying items by tag: Security

Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei has vowed to work closely with Polish authorities in order to ensure it plays a key role in the buildout of its 5G networks.

Reports are claiming that Huawei executives will meet with officials from the Polish government in a bid to iron out any major security concerns that the country may have following the ongoing allegations that the Chinese vendor is a risk to national security.

Huawei also became embroiled in controversy last month, when one of its executives was arrested on suspicion of espionage.

Huawei’s senior standards manager in Europe, Georg Mayer, insisted that there has been no slowdown of sales of end-user equipment in Poland despite the negative press.

However, he acknowledged that if the negative press and scaremongering regarding Huawei’s security continues then it will eventually negatively impact business.

Huawei has reportedly offered to build a cybersecurity centre in Poland in another effort to show its commitment to addressing the security issues that have come to the fore in recent months.

In addition to this, Huawei’s head fiure in Poland, Tonny Bao, said the company was ready to establish a cyber security focused operation in the country “if authorities accept this as a trusted solution”.

The company has set up information security labs in Germany and the UK, designed to assure authorities its equipment is safe.

Published in Telecom Vendors

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for extra security to be applied to Chinese companies following alleged security concerns that have been raised regarding the practices of telecommunications behemoth Huawei.

Published in Telecom Vendors

British telecommunications behemoth Vodafone has confirmed that it has delayed the installation of equipment supplied by Chinese vendor Huawei amidst security concerns surrounding the company.

However, Vodafone’s CEO Nick Read moved quickly to highlight that a blanket ban on Huawei would significantly hamper the roll out of 5G as the innovative Chinese enterprise has become the global leader in relation to 5G development.

Read said that the cautionary measure was taken by Vodafone because of the controversy currently swirling around Huawei following the high-profile arrest of its CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver, and the detainment of another executive in Poland on suspicion of espionage.

Vodafone will engage in further discussions from authorities who have flagged their safety concerns over Huawei. However, Vodafone has insisted that but it will use the vendor’s equipment in its radio networks.

Read stated that the authorities had not forced Vodafone’s decision, but did acknowledge and concede that the negativity around Huawei had now become unhealthy in Europe and required for a more structured conversation that presented the facts so that we’re making the right decision for the industry, and isn’t politically motivated.

Vodafone Group said that it uses only a small amount of Huawei equipment in its core networks in a number of markets in Europe, which includes. However, interestingly the CEO did confirm that Huawei’s equipment was not used in its core network in the UK.

In addition to this, Read highlighted the importance of the availability of Huawei infrastructure, adding the industry needed to “look at it more holistically” and be “more grounded.” He noted rival vendors Ericsson and Nokia also have R&D facilities and significant manufacturing facilities located in China.

Vodafone has continued to pursue its digital strategy and has yielded good financial returns by simplifying its operating model and accelerating digital transformation. Vodafone has also announced an extension of a network sharing deal with Telefonica’s O2 UK, and added that it is planning to explore opportunities to monetize its UK tower assets. 

Published in Telecom Operators

The French government has announced that it will be instructing operators to allow them more oversight and control in relation to the rollout of 5G networks due to increased security concerns.

The decision by the French government comes on the back of speculation that a number of Western nations are considering banning Chinese telecommunications vendor Huawei from bidding on contracts for 5G deployment, amidst fears that Beijing would be able to gain access to sensitive communications and infrastructure.

Huawei should be the go-to vendor for operators globally, as it is well-ahead of its European rivals Nokia and Ericsson in relation to 5G equipment. However, Washington are lobbying its allies to prevent the Chinese telecommunications behemoth from being involved in their 5G networks as US intelligence agencies have deemed them a serious threat to domestic security.

Guillaume Poupard, head of France's national cybersecurity agency ANSSI, said a new law could be drafted in the forthcoming number of months in an effort to ‘toughen and extend’ authorization requirements in order to be sure we control the entire 5G network.

However, he insisted that approvals would not be refused "because of a company's image, or its country of origin".

Poupard told AFP, "There aren't good equipment makers on the one hand and bad equipment makers on the other -- unfortunately the situation is much more complex. The need for oversight is all the more critical since the base stations and other infrastructure for ultrafast 5G networks are much less centralized than current 4G systems.”

Huawei’s chairman Liang Hua told reporters at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that it would pull out of partnerships in hostile countries.

Liang said, “We do not pose a threat to a future digital society. The United States has not yet put forward any evidence to justify its claim that Huawei’s equipment could serve as a Trojan horse for Beijing's security apparatus.”

Published in Telecom Operators

France's data watchdog (CNIL) announced a fine of 50 million euros ($57 million) for US search giant Google, using the EU's strict General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for the first time.

Google was handed the record fine from the CNIL regulator for failing to provide transparent and easily accessible information on its data consent policies, a statement said. The CNIL said Google made it too difficult for users to understand and manage preferences on how their personal information is used, in particular with regards to targeted advertising.

“People expect high standards of transparency and control from us. We're deeply committed to meeting those expectations and the consent requirements of the GDPR,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement. “We're studying the decision to determine our next steps.”

The ruling follows complaints lodged by two advocacy groups last May, shortly after the landmark GDPR directive came into effect. One was filed on behalf of some 10,000 signatories by France's Quadrature du Net group, while the other was by None Of Your Business, created by the Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems.

Schrems had accused Google of securing “forced consent” through the use of pop-up boxes online or on its apps which imply that its services will not be available unless people accept its conditions of use.

“Also, the information provided is not sufficiently clear for the user to understand the legal basis for targeted advertising is consent, and not Google's legitimate business interests,” the CNIL said.

Published in Government

Germany and Canada both considering banning Huawei from 5G

Written on Tuesday, 22 January 2019 06:07

The Canadian and German government are reportedly both seriously considering excluding Chinese telecommunications behemoth Huawei from its 5G networks due to security concerns.

Published in Telecom Vendors

China defends Huawei over latest espionage accusations

Written on Wednesday, 16 January 2019 07:09

China has called upon other countries to cease the “groundless fabrications and unreasonable restrictions” against technology giant Huawei, after a Polish official said his country could limit the use of the company’s products by public entities following the arrest of Huawei employee Wang Weijing.

Poland is the latest country to express concerns over Huawei devices amidst security fears. Joachim Brudzinski, Poland’s internal affairs minister, has called for the European Union and NATO to work on a joint position over whether to exclude Huawei from their markets.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the accusatory security threats “suppress and restrict Chinese technology companies’ development abroad”, and China hoped the Polish side would work to create mutual trust and maintain relations.

“We urge relevant parties to cease the groundless fabrications and unreasonable restrictions toward Huawei and other Chinese companies, and create a fair, good and just environment for mutual investment and normal cooperation by both sides’ companies,” Hua Chunying said.

“Using security reasons to hype, obstruct or restrict normal cooperation between companies in the end will only hurt one’s own interests.”

The Shenzhen-based equipment company has seen their equipment banned from Australia, New Zealand and Japan, and stripped from core telecom systems in the United Kingdom. Governments around the world have grown increasingly wary of Huawei’s presence in critical national telecoms infrastructure, amid cybersecurity fears and potential links to Beijing.

Pressure from the United States secret service to boycott Huawei equipment has led to a number of countries to exclude the phone giant in their rollout of 5G networks. In August, The Trump administration signed a bill that barred the U.S. government from using Huawei equipment and is reportedly considering an executive order that would also ban U.S. companies from using the Chinese products.

An executive for Huawei Meng Wanzhou was also arrested in December in Canada at the request of U.S authorities and awaits possible extradition to the U.S.  Huawei has always strenuously denied all accusations of espionage, and Hua Chunying maintained Wang Weijing’s alleged actions had “no relation to the company.”

Huawei has since sacked Wang after he was arrested along with a Polish security official on charges of spying for the Chinese government. In a statement, the company said the former employee had brought “disrepute” to the company.

Karol Okonski, a Polish government official responsible for cyber security said that “abrupt” policy changes toward Huawei were not warranted after the arrests, but that the use of the company’s products by state entities could be reviewed.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Two of the UK’s largest airports have invested in multi-million pound anti-drone systems, after an incident at Gatwick in December brought flights to a standstill.

Both London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports confirmed they have purchased high-tech systems to protect themselves from potential drone attacks.

It follows three days of chaos at Gatwick in December, after a reported drone sighting caused mass disruption and grounded nearly 1,000 flights during the busy Christmas period.

Flights were resumed after the British Army brought in Drone Dome equipment; reportedly manufactured by Israeli defense contractor Rafael, which allows operators to jam a drone’s radio signals and allow it to land safely. It is believed several airports have purchased their own ‘military-grade anti-drone apparatus’ to prevent future incidents which will provide a “similar level of protection,” after the army withdrew its equipment on January 3rd.

On December 19th, an airport security officer at Gatwick had witnessed two cross-shaped drones, flying over the south perimeter road with flashing lights. The sightings caused three days of flight cancellations, with over 140,000 passengers affected by the standstill; the biggest disruption since the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud in 2010.

Two people were arrested after the incident in December, but as of yet no one has been charged.  

In July 2018, the UK government passed a law that banned drones from flying above 400ft and within 1km of an airport boundary, because of fears they could cause damage to aircraft windows during take-off and landing.  

Published in Gadget

US presidential hopeful blasts ZTE

Written on Sunday, 06 January 2019 10:04

Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE may well have had draconian measures that had crippled the company lifted by the US Department of Commerce following an intervention by President Donald Trump, but the narrative that ZTE is a threat to national security is refusing to subside.

US presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren became the latest politician to take aim at the telecoms behemoth and strongly criticized US senator Joseph Lieberman for serving as a lobbyist for the powerful Chinese vendor.

The ability for Republicans and Democrats to work together to form new policies and legislation in the US Senate and House of Representatives has been at an all-time low during the Trump administration.

The decision by the US to ban ZTE and Huawei from being involved in the rollout of 5G networks has drew bipartisan approval with both Republicans and Democrats voicing their concerns that both companies close association to the Chinese government was a huge threat to domestic security.

Warren, who announced she’d be seeking the Democratic nomination for the US Presidential election in 2020, denounced the US senator for acting as a lobbyist for the Chinese telecommunications behemoth on Twitter.

Warren tweeted, “ZTE is a giant foreign telecoms company that’s close with the Chinese government. They’ve violated serious US sanctions in Iran and North Korea. Their lobbyists keep blocking accountability. And today former senator Joseph Lieberman joined them. Should that be legal? No.”

Warren is an outspoken politician and is known for being a firebrand. She has faced the wrath of US President Donald Trump who has repeatedly ridiculed her claims that she was Native American.

She said that there should be a lifetime ban on members of congress working as lobbyists to make sure they only serve the public. Warren added, “We need a ban on foreign lobbying so countries like China, Russia and Saudi Arabia have to conduct their foreign policy out in the open.”

Bloomberg reported that Lieberman, who was a vice presidential nominee in 2000, began working for ZTE in November. According to a lobbying registration form submitted to the US Senate, he is conducting an assessment of the concerns members of the US Congress, the executive branch and US businesses have about national security risks around ZTE products.

The form also states Lieberman will not be advocating for ZTE, and he had been appointed in the interest of transparency and caution.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Huawei’s rotating chairman Ken Hu has pleaded with the governments of countries who have banned the Chinese telecommunications behemoth from becoming involved in the rollout of 5G networks, to produce evidence that implicates Huawei as a serious security threat.

Huawei’s CEO robustly defended its security record and expressed his disappointment that countries banned the Chinese vendor before affording them the opportunity to engage in dialogue which would’ve allowed them to take action, or respond to the allegations that it was a threat to domestic security.

In a press conference held at its HQ in Shenzhen, Hu said, “When it comes to security, we need to let the facts speak for themselves. Huawei’s record on security is clean. In over 30 years, the company has never had a serious cyber security issue or seen any evidence showing its equipment is a security threat. We have a solid track record.”

New Zealand and Australia have banned Huawei from their 5G projects, whilst it is also believed that the UK, Germany, Japan and South Korea are also considering the possibility of preventing Huawei from becoming involved in their 5G rollout plans.

However, Hu acknowledged that the vendor needed to be proactive with governments and customers, but stressed that they had already been doing this, and were willing to take additional steps in an effort to not be locked out of 5G programs in the west.

Hu added, “We will not relax. As technology becomes more complex and networks become more open, we will continue to increase our investment in security related efforts.”

For example, Huawei plans to launch a security centre in Brussels in Q1 2019 as part of a longer-term plan to expand cooperation with other governments around the world, such as Canada and the UK. In addition to this, it will invest $2 billion over the next five years to improve its software engineering processes to be better prepared for the future.

The recent high-profile arrest of the company’s CFO in Canada has reignited trade tensions and diplomatic relations between the US and China. However, despite the controversies and turmoil, Huawei is targeting a record of $100bn in total revenue for the year, and has secured more than 25 commercial 5G contracts and shipped more than 10,000 5G base stations.

Hu declined to comment on the ongoing situation with Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou because it was an ongoing case, but he did reiterate that the company is confident in its trade compliance measures along with the judicial systems in Canada and the US.

Published in Telecom Vendors
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