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US Multi-Pronged Efforts to Persuade European Allies to Stay Away from Huawei 5G Tech Could Backfire
The U.S. government’s multi-pronged effort to persuade European allies to bar the Chinese firm Huawei from supplying key elements of state-of-the-art 5G mobile data networks appears to have foundered, raising questions not only about the future of key intelligence-sharing relationships but also about the future of mobile technology in the U.S. itself.
U.S. officials used warnings of potential “backdoor” technology that could give Chinese intelligence services access to critical telecommunications infrastructure to try to warn allies away from Huawei equipment. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo went as far as warning allies that the U.S. would have no choice but to restrict the information it shares with key allies.
In the end, the push appears to have been in vain. The EU announced Tuesday that it will allow carriers to move forward with the installation of Huawei equipment. Officials said EU countries’ sharing information about 5G security threats will be sufficient to safeguard their high-tech communication networks.
Some of the United States’ staunchest allies have made it plain that they do not see the Huawei threat as Washington does. Germany has announced that it will not ban the Chinese firm from its networks, and regulators in Britain have said that they are satisfied that any threat can be mitigated by inspection and monitoring.
Last month, an effort to block Huawei from participating in the 5G rollout in France died in the Senate, and Italy has not only embraced Huawei, but has become the first European country to accept funding from Beijing as part of China’s “Belt and Road” program of infrastructure investment.
This is not to say that Europe is ignoring potential security threats from Huawei. On March 12, the European Parliament passed a new Cybersecurity Act, creating standards for telecommunications equipment. While it did not single out Chinese firms, the language of the new law makes it clear that equipment from companies located in countries that pose potential security threats will receive extra attention.
On Tuesday, the EU’s digital chief said EU countries will have until the end of June to assess cybersecurity risks related to 5G, leading to a bloc-wide assessment by October. In the Pacific, U.S. allies in closer proximity to China have been more aggressive in taking action against Huawei. The governments of both Australia and New Zealand have already barred their domestic carriers from using Huawei equipment in their 5G networks.
Washington’s inability to create consensus among its allies on such a critical issue has puzzled many experts. Key sectors of the U.S. intelligence community identified Huawei as a major national security concern at least a decade ago. However, the concerted effort to go public with concerns about allowing the company to participate in the rollout of 5G technology only came to the fore within the past year — long after many say such conversations ought to have taken place.
“It is late in the game,” said Paul Triolo, practice head for Geo-Technology at the Eurasia Group and China Digital Economy Fellow at the New America Foundation. “I was in Europe last week and I had a German official say, ‘Gosh, I wish we’d had this debate three years ago.’ That’s the problem. The industry has moved in this direction in lockstep for the past seven or eight years and now, you’re throwing, from the sidelines, a big smoke bomb.”
Industry insiders in Europe reacted with a mix of incredulity and alarm to the U.S. proposals. Vodafone’s chief technology officer, Scott Petty, last week told the BBC that a ban on Huawei wouldn’t just be forward-looking. It would require tearing out the company’s equipment already incorporated into existing mobile networks. “The cost of doing that runs into the hundreds of millions and will dramatically affect our 5G business case,” he told the news service. “We would have to slow down the deployment of 5G very significantly.”
Concerns about Huawei
The rise of Huawei to global prominence, considered a major success story in China, has not come without controversy. The company has a documented history of industrial espionage, and benefits significantly from close connections to the Chinese government, which provides various subsidies generally unavailable to Huawei’s foreign competitors. There has also long been suspicion, bordering on certainty in some sectors, that the company cooperates with Chinese intelligence services.
“I mean they are clearly malicious actors — I don’t think there’s any doubt about this,” said Trae Stephens, a former U.S. intelligence officer, and a founder of Anduril Industries, which sells technology to the U.S. departments of Defense and Homeland Security. “The evidence has been presented over and over and over again. The intelligence community doesn’t make spurious accusations that have no backing.”
The certainty with which current and former U.S. officials accuse Huawei of being a pawn of Beijing makes the decision to wait until the last minute to try to block the firm from the 5G rollout hard to understand — especially given how long the company has been on the intelligence community’s radar.
At least as early as the first years of the Obama administration, officials were expressing concern about allowing Huawei to provide sensitive infrastructure to the U.S. telecommunications industry. By 2012, that had hardened into specific warnings.
The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in 2012 completed a year-long investigation into Huawei and ZTE, a smaller Chinese telecom firm, and left no doubt about its members concerns. Among other things, the investigation concluded that “the risks associated with Huawei’s and ZTE’s provision of equipment to U.S. critical infrastructure could undermine core U.S. national-security interests.”
However, in the intervening years, one thing the U.S. never did was present clear and convincing evidence that Huawei was conspiring with the Chinese government in terms of ongoing espionage.
Even after the Chinese legislature passed a new law requiring companies operating in the country to cooperate, if asked, with intelligence-collecting agencies, warnings from the U.S. were all prospective — claims about what Huawei might do in the future, rather than evidence of actual espionage.
Fractured 5G future
While the late push by the U.S. to keep Huawei out of the rollout of 5G worldwide may have failed, years of warnings about doing business with the company have not gone unheeded in the United States. While Huawei equipment is not officially banned in the U.S., the 2012 report from the House Intelligence committee got the attention of domestic carriers, and Huawei has been all but shut out of the market.
A law signed by President Donald Trump last year blocking government agencies from purchasing any equipment from the company only made it more difficult for the firm to play in the U.S. market.
However, even without access to U.S. markets, Huawei remains the largest provider of telecommunications infrastructure equipment in the world. It also spends lavishly on research and development: It’s R&D budget was nearly $14 billion in 2017, more than twice as much as either of the two other major 5G players, Ericsson and Nokia, spent that year.
The combination of these two factors means that Huawei products are not only being used worldwide, but that they are often the most advanced and innovative equipment available.
Huawei, according to Paul Triolo of the Eurasia Group, is the “most competitive, lowest-cost, high performance, high-service and, critically, high-innovation” company in the mobile telecommunications infrastructure market.
This has some experts concerned about a future in which the U.S. walls itself off from the technology that the rest of the world is adopting.
Lester Ross, the partner-in-charge of the WilmerHale law firm’s Beijing office, said he believes the U.S. effort to stymie Huawei in Europe and at home will only “intensify” the company’s drive to expand to other countries around the world.
“So if the United States and perhaps a few other countries are just left then to be islands in an ocean of Chinese-led telecommunications infrastructure, what implications does that have for the world?” he asked. (VOA)
Amitabh Bachchan is adored by the public for his unforgettable on-screen performances as well as his magnetic demeanour. Not only do fans love Amitabh Bachchan's outstanding performance, but the actor's heartwarming words are also highly regarded. A much moved Amitabh Bachchan, during his speech to the crowd of over 80,000 people at the Reliance Industries' annual event, said that the legacy left by Dhirubhai has had a positive impact on millions of people's lives worldwide.
When Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan became bankrupt in the late 1990s, Dhirubhai Ambani stepped forward to give him financial assistance. In his speech, Bachchan remembered that Dhirubhai had sent Anil Ambani to offer him financial assistance during the crisis, which he had respectfully declined. Lenders began knocking on his door, losses mounted, and his bank account dwindled to nothing. He said, "Dhirubhai's money might have gotten me out of the problem quickly. However, I respectfully declined his offer and gradually began to find work again, which let me pay off my debt."
Amitabh Bachchan is adored by the public for his unforgettable on-screen performances as well as his magnetic demeanour. | Flickr
Later, after Bachchan had recovered from the bankruptcy, one day he was invited to an event at Dhirubhai's residence; Bachchan added, "Dhirubhai was standing and having a chat with his industrialist friends when he saw me there, he called me, firstly I felt shy even to present myself in front of such big industrialists but then, I went there, and Dhirubhai declared in front of all of them that 'This young man had fallen but managed to get back up on his own, I have a lot of respect for him because of that.' Those words of his were worth much more to me than any amount of money that he could have offered me."
It was the "Reliance Family Day" event and was attended by members of the Ambani family from all generations. The event commemorated the company's 40-year journey since its inception. It also celebrated the 85th birthday of the late Dhirubhai Ambani, RILs (Reliance Industries Limited) founder.
Keywords: Bollywood, Reliance, Amitabh Bachchan, Dhirubhai Ambani, event
In comparison to adults, children are prone to getting traumatized by troubling events easily, and this makes it important for parents to help their children when the times are tough. It could be a brutal accident, an unprecedented pandemic, a violent crime, or other disasters but with the right parental support, children have a higher chance of coming out stronger from an awful situation.
Anuja Kapur, Psychologist shares few tips wherein you can assist your child when tough times comes calling:
Every child responds differently to disturbing events: What children feel about a current disaster in their life and how they react to it can come and go in waves. Children can act moody and withdrawn at times, struck with sorrow and fear at other times. There's no absolute "right" or "wrong" way to feel after a traumatic event so make sure not to dictate what your child or how your child should feel and react to the event.
Children can act moody and withdrawn at times, struck with sorrow and fear at other times. | Photo by Kat J on Unsplash
Encourage your child to be transparent: Just make sure you let your child know that whatever feelings they're experiencing is normal. The unpleasantness will pass if your child opens up about it and that the phase is temporary. While many teens may be reluctant to talk about their feelings with a parent, encourage them to confide in another trusted adult such as a family friend, relative, or a counselor and teacher. It's important to talkeeven if it's not with you.
Just make sure you let your child know that whatever feelings they're experiencing is normal. | Photo by Sebastián León Prado on Unsplash
Deter your child from reliving the disturbing event: Dwelling over, watching the footage, or imagining the event can be overwhelmingly stressful for children and this stress can even block their nervous system. However, to negate such things from happening encourage activities that keep your child's mind occupied so they're not obsessive about the event. You could encourage your children to read, play games together, or simply watch an uplifting movie.
Dwelling over, watching the footage, or imagining the event can be overwhelmingly stressful for children and this stress can even block their nervous system. | Photo by Юлія Дубина on Unsplash
Cocoon your child with warmth: In order to reassure your child that they are safe with you and feel secure, that the worst is over your physical affection is important in making them feel safe again. Teens may try to be tough through it and avoid being held, but they still need the proximity.
In order to reassure your child that they are safe with you and feel secure, that the worst is over your physical affection is important in making them feel safe again. | Photo by adrianna geo on Unsplash
Maintain routines. Establishing a predictable structure and schedule for your child's life can help to make the world seem more stable again. Try to maintain regular times for meals, homework, and family activities. Make sure your child accommodates time and space for rest, play, and fun. Keeping up with a schedule can help countercheck the obnoxious feeling of stress and worry in children about the future being dark, hopeless, and unpredictable.
Try to maintain regular times for meals, homework, and family activities. | Photo by Paico Oficial on Unsplash
Acknowledge and validate your child's concerns. The disastrous events in life may give place to unrelated fright and concerns in your child. However, understanding and accepting your child's present state is a comfort for the child. If at any point the child blames himself for the event make sure to make it clear and crisp the event was not their fault, you love them, and it's okay for them to feel upset, angry, or scared but not guilty.
Understanding and accepting your child's present state is a comfort for the child Photo by Jeremiah Lawrence on Unsplash
Irrespective of the age of your child, it is vital for parents to offer that extra support and assistance following an unsettling event. The traumatic event may bring up unrelated fears and issues in your child. However, by accepting their thoughts and replacing their fear with your love and direction, the ominous feelings will start to fade away. Eventually, the child will be able to return to a normal and healthy life. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Kids, Help, stress, cope, routine, warmth, understanding, encourage, psychology, children
The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union (EU), has announced plans for smartphone and other electronics manufacturers to fit a common USB-C charging port on their devices in an effort to reduce waste. In addition to phones, the rules will apply to other devices like tablets, headphones, portable speakers, videogame consoles, and cameras, reports The Verge. The decision will have a huge impact on Apple, as the company still uses its own Lightning connector to charge iPhones. The proposals only cover devices using wired, not wireless and a USB-C port is only mandatory for devices that charge using a cable.
"Chargers power all our most essential electronic devices | Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash
"Chargers power all our most essential electronic devices. With more and more devices, more and more chargers are sold that are not interchangeable or not necessary. We are putting an end to that," the report quoted EU commissioner Thierry Breton as saying.
The Commission also wants to unbundle the sale of chargers from the sale of electronic devices, which it says will improve the consumers' convenience. "With our proposal, European consumers will be able to use a single charger for all their portable electronics - an important step to increase convenience and reduce waste." In addition, the Commission will require manufacturers to provide relevant information about charging performance. (IANS/MBI)
Keywords: Electronic Devices, Chargers, Cable, smartphone, Adapters, Charging Cord