How do you feel about purchasing Huawei products?

Discussion in 'Off Topic Chat' started by lovelaptops, Mar 3, 2019.

  1. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    One can be forgiven for thinking that whatever threat Huawei might present to individual users is not much worse than a Google or a Facebook. But the thing that makes China different is the sheer scope of their effort; data gathering tasks (we'll be kind and not call it what it really is) are spread across the entirety of the Chinese infrastructure with specific elements focused on specific classes of data. Individuals, companies, military and the civil government are all involved. This is operation on a scale that makes even Google look like a bit player.

    Returning to Huawei in particular, the following was published by the Lexington Institute on their website a couple of hours ago. The subject was about Germany's support for their NATO obligations, but the comment stands on its own:

    "Turning to China for technology. Germany missed the boat on high-speed internet, so now it is trying to catch up. But despite warnings from Washington and other allied capitals, Berlin is signaling it will allow China’s state-influenced Huawei to play a major part in building out the country’s 5G mobile network. Chinese telecom companies are required by law to assist the state in pursuit of security objectives, and U.S. intelligence has long feared that Huawei equipment might be used to compromise Western security—for example by collecting sensitive information. By embracing Huawei, Berlin is legitimizing use of the suspect company’s technology in other European countries, potentially a big blow to alliance security"

    In the interests of full disclose, Lexington Institute lobbies for its clients (who are various companies who want to publicize articles that support their business interests), but this particular paragraph isn't scare tactics; there are enough security incidents and network hacks with China's fingerprints on them to make the above assessment credible.
     
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  2. lovelaptops

    lovelaptops My friends call me Jeff Senior Member

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    ***EDIT of the following post from earlier today:

    Ok, I have done some more thinking and reading and have erased my post from earlier today that was a follow-on to the excellent post by @Steve S (above) and substituted it with a hopefully more enlightened understanding of what remains a very disconcerting and frightening future, enabled in great measure by technology. Neither the US nor any other country can hope to build a perfect defense against cyber terrorism in any form, practiced by any brutal regime. This applies most of all to China, an ever larger, more powerful economic and military regime that is overtaking the US in most aspects of geopolitical power. We will still be very strong, a powerful #2, as long as we restore a government run by people of good intent, high expertise, respect for the rule of law and a motivation to protect the national security and freedoms of our citizenry and, based on principles that have kept our world safe from nuclear holocaust for over 75 years, project that power and protection to the rest of the world. I still feel strongly that the less of the backbone of global 5G networks that is underpinned by Chinese hardware and software (which no rational, informed person doubts is under strict control of the brutal, totalitarian, power-craven Chinese government), the better off we will be.

    But let's face it: a 5th rate economic power (Russia) infiltrated the American democratic process and to a reasonable degree of expectation, installed not only their preferred President, but no doubt calculated that he would create a lap-dog administration that would to a significant extent weaken our defenses, particularly in all matters of cyber infrastructure defense and communications infrastructure, not by installing hardware with back doors to enable control but by using the relatively crude and easily waged tactics of hacking and leveraging social networks gone awry and thus on this particular issue I've chosen to rant about - Chinese dominance of the next gen wireless network infrastructure - with or without that all peoples will be from this day forward vulnerable to vicious attacks and temporary control of not only our critical infrastructure but of the very mindset of our population.

    So, I guess I'm offering a very large shrug and a broad based "Never Mind!" to much of what I wrote earlier today, in the post below. Perhaps my call for activism of the sort I suggested is not where energies are best directed. And I do have some confidence that, with proper and liberal democratic (note, lower case "l" and "d") norms restored and with our still immense resources and technological prowess we can probably get to sleep at night with the same assurance that enabled most of us to sleep most of the time throughout the cold war: Mutually assured destruction, a.k.a. "we can't stop you from attacking us, but we can assure you that you will live to regret it if you do! As insane as that sounds as the basis for a livable level of peace and complacency, both sophisticated game theory and years of empirical evidence suggest that it really works - hopefully! Moreover I neglected below to acknowledge that there are ways we can quarantine certain segments of our critical networks and the best allocation of resources in the face of a very real and very scary series of threats from which we cannot protect or isolate ourselves or our allies and friends the world over will be towards both maintaining that "second strike" capability and proving to our enemies that it exists, as well as developing other forms of technology based defenses and recovery capabilities in the aftermath of the inevitable attacks. In other words, we can in the future do what we have not spent a dollar or lifted a finger to do in the past two years, since it became clear that: 1) virtually every element of our democratic systems and processes can be tampered with in such a way as to hold our very way of life captive, and, 2) that the entirety of our critical infrastructure (power grid, water supplies, etc) can be hacked and rendered useless, if not turned against us by a hostile enemy.

    My greatest fear - not just in my home, the United States, but throughout the world, including among our strongest allies and friends - is that, through the virtual "mind control" that the social network infrastructure has evolved into and appears to be such at a point of no return, that the very traits that distinguish the human race from all other forms of life on this planet, can be hijacked and manipulated and the innate goodness, faith, trust and will to live well by doing good can be subverted by a relatively small number of individuals with the cleverness to manipulate the beliefs of the electorates and humanity itself in such a way as to do evil, wreak havoc, foment hate, mistrust, bigotry, and all the worst characteristics and behaviors that, regrettably, many millennia of civilizations have apparently failed to banish from the hearts and minds of humanity, just as we are now seeing the same kind of undue influence by lies and fear mongering has allowed the return of diseases (eg, measles) that we truly believed we had eradicated for all time. Through ancient history we have seen barbarism and inhumanity towards fellow beings progress towards more civilized and humanistic orders of societies, but what I witness all around the world - and in my own country - I see just how easily we can regress to a system of beliefs and inhumanity towards each other that I likewise grew up thinking we were approaching a state of grace in which such horrific behaviors would increasingly approach extinction from the face of the world.

    I have erased the post I wrote earlier today in favor of a less panic-stricken and more humanistic message. For now, I'll just offer my love to you all and wishes that we can all find ways, in every day we continue to live on this planet, that we will find ways to promote kindness, tolerance, a sense that we share this planet and its resources and are stewards of our very earth and a shared sense of responsibility to enable our fellow strugglers to maximize the chance that we will all live in peace and harmony with the freedom to pursue happiness as individuals and as a global society that will perpetuate our species and leave this world a better place than we found it or - God help us - at least not make it worse.

    With love,
    Jeff Bellin
    Arlington, VA
    April 3, 2019

    I have erased my rather paranoid post from earlier today when I feared that if we did not prevent Chinese technology companies, controlled by and evil autocratic power bent on world domination, we will doom ourselves to all be controlled by such power:
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2019
  3. doobiedoobiedum

    doobiedoobiedum Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Am I important enough for Huawei to snoop on me and keep records that someone watches? No I'm not.

    In other areas, I know everytime I use Google on my MacBook that I am likely being tracked - even after Apple users won a case to make sure Google couldn't track them when using Safari.
    Apple probably tracks some element of my digital presence every time I use Safari.
    Microsoft probably tracks some element of my digital presence every time I use my laptop connected to the internet.
    Amazon probably tracks some element of my digital presence when I use my Alexa echo dot.

    Tracking happens - it's the purposes of that tracking that would concern me - I can turn dome things off but I know that tracking goes with the technology and the only guarantee is to disconnect.

    On a different matter though, I don't want my Govt to use foreign technology that can be tracked or recorded and I listened to a GCHQ guy on radio this morning saying the British Govt should not use Huawei because it was using old tech that has all sorts of holes in it that were exploited many years ago.
     
  4. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/201...doors-in-huawei-equipment-vodafone-disagrees/

    Just for the record, Bloomberg seems to have at least a short history of publishing articles critical of Huawei. That doesn't necessarily mean that they are biased (or wrong), but someone there definitely seems to be focused on Huawei.

    <<...Am I important enough for Huawei to snoop on me and keep records that someone watches? No I'm not...>>

    So again, it's only partially about you; it's about big data. The Chinese have recently been caught recruiting US security people to spy for them by using information about these people's personal vulnerabilities. How did they find out about these vulnerabilities? Big data analysis.

    It's perfectly understandable that individuals don't feel threatened by what's going on, but each of us touch many other lives. It's this web of connection that's important...
     
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  5. lovelaptops

    lovelaptops My friends call me Jeff Senior Member

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    I've been a little surprised how many of the postings to this thread (that I initiated) relate to an individual's sense of their personal vulnerability to having their own information purloined by Huawei - or Google, Facebook, etc. Nothing wrong with such posts, but for the record I started the thread with the idea of soliciting for opinions as to whether we should generally consider boycotting Huawei products and services due to the reported connections between the company and the myriad (and scary!) actors in the Chinese govt intelligence operations.

    It's becoming increasingly clear (see any of skads of articles this week alone on Huawei's dominance of the world smartphone market - performance, innovations etc) that they are at or very near becoming the undisputed leader in the marketplace and are held back in unit sales growth only by the US carriers' refusal to support and market their products. For residents of non-US countries, there will be scant reason not to purchase Huawei smartphone (and other) products vs Apple and Samsung unless buyers believe - and fear, want to prevent - the Chinese government from effectively controlling consumer (including business consumers) markets for more and more products and then, over time, being in a position to out-Google Google, but as much as people now mistrust Google's - IMO - largely financial motives for violating our privacy, with the Chinese government there is the prospect of far, far more nefarious motives in accumulating our data, ultimately affecting military, national security (of every nation) strategies.

    I have no idea:

    1) the extent to which Huawei is providing data and access to the Chinese government - by choice, for financial gain, and/or by effective force (can't make you do it, but can make you wish you had!)

    2) the extent to which the Chinese government's designs are largely for commercial market domination or military powers - nor the extent to which the two blur once they've accumulated both the largest database on all behavior of a large portion of the world's consumers (what they search, read, buy, where they go, who they talk to, etc, etc) and, scarier yet, a back door into yours, mine and the aggregated populations of countries', continents' nanosecond-to-nanosecond conduct.

    I'm well aware that I've put myself into a realm of conspiracy theory in which I've never traveled in my life and, frankly, don't wish to travel. I'm also well aware that other governments - including that of my own USA - may well have the same designs, though I doubt any other comes near the current and future capability that China has. Even if the US were to possess this capability we have - or up until recently had - a set of laws, norms, rules separation of powers, etc, that made it far more difficult for us to do on an organized, systematic basis what China is free to pursue because they've never even pretended to have any such laws or norms - just the opposite, the words of their present ruler state such prowess as a state objective, in the interest of the prosperity, security and, however else they describe it, of the Chinese people and state.

    Remember, this is in "off-topic" for a reason: it has nothing to do with who makes better gadgets and what innovations are driving which markets. I'd love to say we're in the Twilight Zone even suggesting this stuff may be going on, or describe the future. I just can't. Not if I'm being honest and not unless I force myself to stop reading straight news from reputable sources and thinking about it, caring about it. I love people, I love life, I love our world and the amazing potential of the human spirit combined with the brilliance of technological progress. I just hate our time in history and I fear powerful governments (including and especially my country's present one) and the potential and perhaps irreparable damage individual actors with monstrous powers (largely technology-based) and, well, monstrous motives. I know it's felt this way before - many times in history. I just don't know if reality has ever even potentially been nearly this scary.

    So, how 'bout those latest folding phones. Pretty cool stuff, eh? :confused:;)o_O:vbconfused::vbconfused::vbconfused:
     
  6. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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  7. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    From the Breaking Defense website:

    "...In a single 36-hour run, Finite State’s tool checked 1.5 million firmware files from 558 Huawei enterprise networking products — that’s just business systems, not consumer devices — and found the average device had 102 vulnerabilities, at least a quarter of them severe enough to let a hacker get full access easily. That’s much more than comparable Western products, Wyckhouse told me: “These are some of the worst devices we’ve ever tested.”..."

    Full article here:

    https://breakingdefense.com/2019/07...62.1944668315.1562591345-931763145.1477573037
     
  8. lovelaptops

    lovelaptops My friends call me Jeff Senior Member

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    When I started this thread I had no idea how much this would explode. I was only referring to voluntarily boycotting Huawei products, now it's a govt policy - until Pres. Crazy changes his mind again!
     
  9. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    And then there's this: https://breakingdefense.com/2019/08/unsafe-at-any-speed-multiple-vulnerabilities-afflict-5g/

    Unsafe At Any Speed: Multiple Vulnerabilities Afflict 5G

    "US government agencies, especially the military, need to be wary of embracing 5G network technology, despite its benefits, simply because so many vendors are based in China. That means military networks may lag behind capabilities widely available to ordinary citizens with the latest smartphones.


    “Use of 5G components manufactured by untrusted companies could expose U.S. entities to risks introduced by malicious software and hardware, counterfeit components, and component flaws caused by poor manufacturing processes and maintenance procedures,” concludes the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), which recently released a 16-page overview of the security risks introduced by 5G adoption in the U.S."
     
  10. lovelaptops

    lovelaptops My friends call me Jeff Senior Member

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    What, are you paranoid or something?:p

    Gotta laugh or I get really anxious:eek:
     
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