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5G flip flop

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, July 2nd, 2019 - 62 comments
Categories: China, Deep stuff, Donald Trump, International, tech industry, us politics - Tags: ,

Six weeks after banning China’s leading tech firm Huawei from contracts with U.S. businesses, U.S. President Donald Trump appears to have reversed it after meeting China’s Premier Xi Jinping on the weekend.

He flips, he flops.

This incoherence underscores the bind New Zealand is in: to retain access to critical security information, yet also to forge intelligence security framed and forecast in our own sovereign interests.

To put this change of view into effect President Trump would need an actual written reversal of the executive order that he signed in May barring U.S. firms from purchasing or using Huawei telecom gear. I think, unlikely so far.

At the time of the ban, Huawei released a statement saying that “Restricting Huawei from doing business in the US will not make the US more secure or stronger; instead, this will only serve to limit the US to inferior yet more expensive alternatives, leaving the US lagging behind in 5G deployment.”

Now, either Trump is a master of apparent incoherence in international diplomacy which masks a deeply subtle game that would shame Kissinger to a dark corner sucking his thumb in goggle-eyed wonder gently humming ‘subtle times are here again’, or Trump doesn’t know how to negotiate. I suspect this is more chaff out of the NSA plane.

It’s worth a momentary intake of breath now on where we have come from; why Trump dances so hard on this pin.

If you look back 30 years, what the U.S. funded and originated was the internet itself. The 5G network is a similarly-scaled inflection point. And way, waay back in the day, when the Five Eyes alliance was first formed in the 1950s, there were a few million land line calls to engage with. By 2022 according to Ericsson there will be a total of 29 billion connected devices.

So whoever gets to dominate 5G infrastructure will become the owner of the next generation of the world’s telecomms infrastructure.

We also know that the risk of surveillance through the newest telecomms technology is definitely real not imagined, thanks to Edward Snowden’s vast 2013 dump of classified U.S. National Security Agency data. It was all marked FVEY, making it available to other Five Eyes members. The United States fears that if the new, super-fast 5G networks being put in place around the world are constructed using Huawei equipment, the Chinese government and its spy agencies could be given a window into the systems. Well, they should know.

So it was not unreasonable – and pretty pointed – for rotating Chair of Huawei Guo Peng to ask rhetorically at a major conference earlier this year: “Prism, Prism on the wall , who is the most trustworthy of them all?” Behind him, a slide appeared in his presentation with the statement: “Huawei has not and will never plant backdoors.” There was even some muted laughter from the audience.

5G will eventually connect far more devices than currently available data networks; the U.S. is warning other countries that Huawei 5G equipment, chips and software, could be outfitted by Chinese intelligence agencies to spy on them. The more American intelligence is shared, the greater the risk that it could find its way to Beijing. Huawei has always denied that any of its equipment has been compromised, and no evidence has been brought forth showing that it has.

In February, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Five Eyes member New Zealand that the U.S. would not share information with it, if the country included Huawei in its “critical information systems.’’

But they were also quite happy in late 2018 to remind us that they would share intelligence with us to assist in common cause against China.

And yet in April this year President Trump was questioned about this issue. He was quick in answering “no” when asked during a press conference in London if whether the U.K. could be cut off

So this is definitely a game in which heavy-hitting officials do the work and the President just has to smile, soften, and wave, while his team wields the heavy stick behind him.

Flip, flop, flip.

Canada has yet to make a decision on restricting or banning Huawi, and has put the issue on the back burner, said Canadian Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale. Australia and New Zealand have already taken steps to restrict Huawei’s access, making Pompeo’s warning– 5G or Five Eyes– aimed squarely at the U.K. and Canada.

The degree of Five Nation cooperation on a range of security and intelligence matters is pretty evident as this release notes.

And the last time someone useful stopped playing games and tried getting some common accountability around the system was after Snowden showed that Five Eyes members allowed the U.S. to circumvent restrictive domestic surveillance laws by borrowing from its allies. Then-President Barack Obama announced in January 2014 that the NSA’s surveillance programs would be overhauled, including introducing new rules about how signals intelligence collected abroad could be used.

That’s the last time this spooky set of spooks got close to common accountability, and it will be, probably, for a very long time.

What is apparent after the Christchurch massacre is that New Zealand’s intelligence community has not defined intelligence needs in our own interests, and have instead pursued the interests of others which are poorly defined, bending according to political negotiating whim on trade, and not protecting us.

Hence the need for the Royal Commission to figure out how to stop the Christchurch massacre happening again.

Donald Trump and government are now flip-flopping wildly on Huawei and China. This instability for apparently purely trade interests shows we must form a free and sovereign intelligence security policy of our own. The Christchurch massacre also shows us that we need lighting fast and targeted access to global information and systems that can predict and hopefully protect our intelligence needs for us first.

So this should not mean isolation. It means at least stabilising New Zealand’s sovereign needs away from the flip-flops.

62 comments on “5G flip flop ”

  1. Observer Tokoroa 1

    Hi Advantage – Huawei Technology

    I agree that we need the ability to Consider what Concerns us in the realm of Trade;

    What will allow us to thrive well in Trade; And What will be required to achieve our needs in a competitive world.

    As a Sovereign Nation we obviously have the Right to independently put our choices to Work.

    It is unlikely that we could follow a Nation that would set out to Punish us. In recent times and currently, the UK, The Queen, and The USA have not been stable enough nor particularly interested in our Well Being to be of importance to us.

    Huawei is Stunning Technology.

    • Lucy 1.1

      "Huawei is Stunning Technology" really? You obviously haven't read the critique that the coding and testing of Huawei was so sloppy you could drive a bus through their software and not even touch the sides. I do no want to do my banking/searching on a system that shows anyone even slightly skilled all my information. I have enough trouble trusting the current system!

      • Dukeofurl 1.1.1

        Stunning Technology ?

        You mean the telcos buy it because of vendor finance- thats the only reason

        "That relationship cuts both ways. Huawei provided 2degrees with the money needed to build its network with a vendor finance arrangement. Bowater says the two companies passed an important milestone in 2013 when a local bank bought the debt off Huawei."

        https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12218516

        Whats the bet that 'local bank' means a NZ subsidiary of a Chinese State owned bank

        Industrial And Commercial Bank of China – 2 queen St

        China Construction Bank 48 Shortland St

        Bank of China 205 Queen St

  2. Observer Tokoroa 2

    hello Lucy

    Could you send the Article that you read. Poor Britains if it is going to be a flop Lucy.

    many thanks

    • riffer 2.1

      Perhaps Lucy is referring to Nokia CTO Marcus Weldon's comments about Huawei's telecoms kit.

      It appears Nokia the company itself are trying to distance themselves from his comments:

      https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-48790746

      • Dukeofurl 2.1.1

        So the technical expert gives an assessment with details and the head office spin says ' We dont make assessments of rivals'

        Who are you going to believe. Doesnt undermine his statement at all. Just makes it a 'personal view'

    • Lucy 2.2

      https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/huawei-uk-security-risk-telecoms-network-gchq-warning-a8456006.html and https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12218590

      "Instead, it's old, unsafe and bug-infested software, bad coding practices, and little or no effort by Huawei to sort out some seriously deficient processes and practices.

      Ironically, the UK centre was set up as a transparency effort so that British signals intelligence bureaux could review source code that Huawei uses for its gear and other technologies because the Chinese wanted to show that they had nothing to hide.

      The report details a large amount of amateur-hour engineering flubs by Huawei. There's use of coding functions deprecated decades ago because they're notoriously unsafe and easy to exploit for hacks."

      Seems like "to market" is all that's important to Huawei

      • Dukeofurl 2.2.1

        And of course what ever Huawei agrees to , they wont stick to it once they have the equipment installed…..the party decides

      • Paul Campbell 2.2.2

        To be fair their competitor Cisco has been known for the same sorts of things … plus we know that their nation state (the US/NSA) has also had them insert backdoors into their code …

        In essence there's no one you can trust unless you can audit the code, which limits you to open source code (and there is open source router firmware).

        In the end we can't trust the hardware our internet packets are passed through, no matter who makes it, only real solution is to say we don't care and to encrypt every thing we do end to end. Https everywhere. More so peer to peer if you can (things like Telegram).

        So the whole Huawei thing is a stupid political game .. we don't trust them, but we don't trust their competitors either, the only way to win is on our own terms

  3. dv 3

    My modem has a 5G channel

    What does that actually mean?

  4. Professor Longhair 4

    "Flip flop"? It's the right thing to do. Trump's initial aggressive move against Huawei was a harebrained provocation, and governments like ours, which immediately obeyed his harebrained directive, have ended up looking extremely foolish, as well as weak.

    • Dukeofurl 4.1

      US still wont allow Huawei products to be used for 5G

      Nothing has flip flopped with that.

      You are confused by the sloppy reporting ( or deliberate confusion) about the change in US companies computer chips being sold to Huawei.

      As usual its US manufacturers who were affected and wanted the component ban changed
      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-huawei-tech-usa-lobbying/u-s-chipmakers-quietly-lobby-to-ease-huawei-ban-sources-idUSKCN1TH0VA

      The components were mostly used in smartphones and servers. – End user devices
      Note these are NOT the 5G Infrastructure where Huawei ban still applies

      • Dukeofurl 4.1.1

        I meant US still wont allow Huawei products to be used for 5G infrastructure

    • Adrian Thornton 4.2

      @ Professor Longhair , true that, just like our media, they all look and act, time and again like puppets on a string.

      • marty mars 4.2.1

        sometimes there are glove puppets too

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGI_y-gqt3k

        How many layers between the truth and basil brush.

        • Adrian Thornton 4.2.1.1

          Man you really Basil Brush don't you..I guess he was pretty cool..Boom! Boom!

          • marty mars 4.2.1.1.1

            it was about the layers adrian not basil brush

            • Adrian Thornton 4.2.1.1.1.1

              Yeah I got that part, I just mentioned Basil Brush because you put him up last time we conversed, thought you might have had a thing for him?

              So I hope going forward many people on TS would take a hard look (but I doubt it) at their seemingly unquestioning absorption of media narrative, especially after their public embarrassments and humiliations over..

              1.Russiagate, 2. Douma/Syria gas attacks, 3.Venezuela 4. Assange 5. Huawei 6.believing that Liberalism was an answer to anything, or isn't dead in the water now.

              …just cos The Guardian or The Washington Post or National Radio says it, doesn't mean it's true…time to take that gloved hand out of the arse I guess is the lesson for a few Standard contributors, but then again maybe a few of them like it there?

              • marty mars

                lol yeah you really get it alright – waste of time I'll not bother anymore

                • Adrian Thornton

                  Oh yeah that's right I forgot, you are one of those guys…

                  Not a song for you obviously.

              • SPC

                The FBI decided decades ago that the best way to undermine the left was to infiltrate it and divide it from within. I guess when they discovered that there was nothing they could do that was worse than what the left would do to each other, they just left them to it.

                https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/opinion/113899267/talented-teams-depend-on-more-than-superstar-members

                • Adrian Thornton

                  Since when did the FBI and CIA stop infiltrating, undermining and aggressively attacking Left wing projects all over the world exactly?

                  You got that one wrong.

                  • SPC

                    No. I was referring to fomenting division within, the natives were so much more talented at that.

                    • Adrian Thornton

                      No, I think are are confusing real Left wing progressives trying to reestablish control of their traditional parties back from the Liberal scum who have infected our institutions, that is not left wing division it is a battle of ideologies, and only one of them is left wing.

                    • SPC

                      No. It was not the Democrat Party they infiltrated, but actual left wing groups that the FBI infiltrated with the intent of fomenting division.

                    • Adrian Thornton

                      @SPC “No. It was not the Democrat Party they infiltrated, but actual left wing groups that the FBI infiltrated with the intent of fomenting division.”

                      Yes, there you are correct, they only fuck around with fractions that will or could make changes that would have a real effect in changing the status quo toward a actual left wing project, that is why they wouldn't bother with the establishment Democratic Party, The UK Labour Party before Corbyn, or The Labour Party under Lange, Clarke, Ardern

                • McFlock

                  lol since when did the left need to be infiltrated to be divided?

                  I mean, yes the security services of various states (including NZ) do that, but to sow division would be the lowest hanging fruit of any such operation. We can do more than enough of that ourselves.

                  • SPC

                    Exactly.

                  • Adrian Thornton

                    I am really not sure what you mean? surely you know that all western 'state security services' have a long and sordid history of conducting all kinds of negative and often outrightly aggressive operations against any and all Left Wing organizations that look like they are becoming any kind of threat to the established status quo. To think that this same type of behaviour is not being conducted today by those same organizations would be frankly quite naive.

                    As far as some of the battles we see today, refer to my comment to SPC above.

                    • SPC

                      The surveillance and wider focus today is of activist campaigns, not of left-wing groups themselves. The regime fears campaigns getting sufficient traction with the centre that mainstream parties including the Democrats and here Labour adopt them.

                    • McFlock

                      Why are you responding with a point I already explicitly stated?

                      yes the security services of various states (including NZ) do that

                      The left is constantly fracturing and fighting amongst itself. The security services don't want to sow division, they want to gather information and arrest/eliminate participants.

                      We do the division-sowing ourselves, usually over perceived semantic differences in expressing policies about which nobody else gives a shit. An habitual task you and I are repeating.

                  • Siobhan

                    I've never really understood your use of the word 'We' when referring to the Left in your many anti Left diatribes, unless of course you are some sort of self loathing Leftie, in which case feel free to leave the fold…

                    • McFlock

                      meh.

                      I believe in a welfare state, universal and publicly-funded healthcare, equitable and progressive redistribution of income (in order to provide everyone with education, housing, and the resources for a dignified life), and organised Labour (preferring the "closed shop" model). Frankly, I'd also expand ACC to cover all health conditions (pre-existing or not) and consider eradicating private insurance providers in favour of a national provider.

                      I mean, by your standards I might not be a true leftie, but that merely illustrates my point. We bicker about whether someone deserves the label "left", while the american taliban will vote for a twice-divorced lying raping cowardly braggadocious lover of money (who married an immigrant working on a visitor visa who then laddered in her relatives) in order to further their plan to achieve an ethnically- and ideologically-pure Gilead.

                • Siobhan

                  It depends on your definition of 'Left'. Over the last 50 years 'The Left' has morphed a little in goals and priorities…

                  "Nowadays, in what critics have dubbed the Green Scare, the bureau is targeting the global-justice movement and radical environmentalists. In 2005, John Lewis, then the FBI official in charge of domestic terrorism, ranked groups like the Earth Liberation Front ahead of jihadists as America’s top domestic terror threat."

                  https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/07/brandon-darby-anarchist-fbi-terrorism/

                  50 years is a long time, The Left hasn't been destroyed its just changed, it would be weird if it hadn't.

                  Though I will concede that in terms of main stream politics 'The Left' has been beaten black and blue by its dear comrades in arms…The Labour/Democratic Party Centrists.

                  • SPC

                    Today the interests represented by security target would seem to focus on campaigns inimical to the regime (not having much fear of the left wing parties politically) – environmental (government ministry favourites Thompson and Clark here), historically peace and anti-free trade, surprisingly also religion (because of its use to manage voters, the Israel relationship and foreign policy) and obviously Occupy Wall Street, tech subversives and critics of Deep State surveillance and worse etc.

      • Dukeofurl 4.2.2

        Longhair is wrong

  5. riffer 5

    Also, the Finite State assessment of Huawei's supposed vulnerabilities is available here:

    https://finitestate.io/finite-state-supply-chain-assessment/

  6. One Two 6

    Any real or perceived flip flop was entirely predictable.

    The circus surrounding Huawei is industry tactics for keeping the real issues out of any discussion.

    Narrative control.

  7. One Two 7

    So whoever gets to dominate 5G infrastructure will become the owner of the next generation of the world’s telecomms infrastructure.

    The domination will in fact be total domination of our human species and every living being on this planet.

    While pursuing total digital domination using technology which will monitor, record, analyze every movement, every breath, every nano-second of all living beings activity (data) will be captured … the damage caused to the environment to design build and implement the digital grid… will become undeniable, and irreversible.

    The political aspects of the discussion around '5G' are utterly farcical.

    Compared to the technical aspects of the discussion, which are far and beyond the scope of this blog site, folks grab hold of what they believe is understandable…

  8. Observer Tokoroa 8

    Thank You

    Riffer

    Unless people go back to rubbing two sticks together in AFrica and sending smoke signals into the air meaning exactly precisely Nothing –

    We will all have to go back to eating American batshit. The civilised educated world has had enough of America and its endless ……

    The Asian and European world is way past the Americas. So thank you for Forwarding intelligent Huwaei Information and Appraisal Riffer. !

    The Asians have a very good Handle on it.

  9. Dukeofurl 9

    Theres a major bandwith issue with 5G in the US.

    In Europe and China the most suitable bandwidth for 5G to reach the longest distance is what is called 'low band spectrum' and this has been reserved for future 5G

    The US hasnt done this, as the particular low band spectrum is reserved for the military, the alternate high band to be used means using existing transmitter towers covers a significantly smaller share of population, making it more expensive to deploy in US

    “5G is promoted as having massively faster speeds and lower latency than 4G. That’s not because it’s magically more efficient; it’s probably 30 percent more efficient per hertz of spectrum. The faster speeds come because 5G can use much larger channel sizes than 4G, which means it needs more spectrum.” PC Mag

    • Dukeofurl 9.1

      Nonsense. Watching high definition movies/sports on your cellphone isnt required for the world to function.

      Yes there is a lot of hype how it will 'change everything' – which is what they said for Radio …then TV…etc.

      • woodart 9.1.1

        good comment. the world has been ending,/changeing forever/going to the dogs etc since two weeks last thursday……I am inventing a new product,,,canned outrage, same as canned laughter, but will drive victims wild….comes in sachets,just add bile

      • McFlock 9.1.2

        But they did change the world.

        FWIW, I'm not sure 5G will be as revolutionary as TV. Firstly, we're already well into the information revolution, and a lot of the information that we'd want to transfer is already at beyond-human definition (e.g. sound, 1080p video).

        What I suspect it will do is take a lot of the processing power out of your pocket and make it shared as a service. This act as a substitute for battery expansion, but I have no idea what new things we'll see. We already have things like fleet micromanagement with GPS monitoring from the office, and can already live broadcast from badgecams if we wanted.

        Dial-up to broadband meant we went from downloading then viewing to direct streaming. I'm not sure whether the bonus from 5g will be that revolutionary.

      • SHG 9.1.3

        yep, two totally trivial and not at all world-changing technologies

  10. Gabby 10

    That's just the yankers letting the world know that any trade agreements had better be in the interests of yankistan or else. Including agreements that yankistan isn't a party to.

  11. SPC 11

    I think there are two different things

    1. The Americans opposing Huawei in 5G is supposedly a security matter.

    2. The ban on US firm tech to Huawei phones was always for leverage on trade negotiations.

    • Dukeofurl 11.1

      Thats right . 2 different things.

      The Huawei stooges are trying to confuse everyone

  12. Observer Tokoroa 12

    Now now- who came up with Yankistan ? Neat

    The problem is that Americans are not very good at war. They slobbered around in Vietnam.

    McCarthy carved up Korea – for no good reason whatsoever. And Lost. Nth Korea have all the Chips now. And the American Soldiers have all the Vietnamese Women.

    China has the Nous and the Money. If I remember correctly – Yankistan is in huge debt to China !

    Shame shame shame – God Bless Humerica and Colonel Kentucky Greasy Fried

    • woodart 12.1

      yankistan is in the educated north. sth of the mason/dixon line ,its dumbphuckistan..bib overalls compulsory, teeth optional….

    • Dukeofurl 12.2

      How did China do against little old Vietnam ?

      • Mark 12.2.1

        Better than the US

        • McFlock 12.2.1.1

          Not for a few hundred years, though.

          • Mark 12.2.1.1.1

            1979, China achieved its objective.

            1961 to 75, the US did not

            • McFlock 12.2.1.1.1.1

              And yet Vietnamese forces remained in Cambodia while the Chinese withdrew. Strategic objective fail.

              The yanks were good at capturing territory in Vietnam, too. Very few people other than the Vietnamese seem to be able to hold onto it, though.

  13. I'm concerned New Zealand will stuff around implementing 5G like we do with so many things. If I was Government, I would be forcing a Joint Venture. That way Huawei can be used but won't have full control.

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