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US warns of implications of adopting 5G tech from ‘totalitarian states’

US warns of implications of adopting 5G tech from ‘totalitarian states’
July 31
15:49 2019

WASHINGTON: The US has asked countries to consider the long-term implications of adopting 5G technology from nations that have pursued a “totalitarian vision” of the role of the state in peoples’ lives, a comment directed at China and the Communist giant’s embattled tech giant Huawei.

The Trump administration banned US companies from selling components and technology to Huawei and 68 related companies in May, citing national security concerns.

The US has been urging countries, including India, to restrict or ban the use of Huawei equipment in their 5G networks, alleging Beijing could use the company’s products to spy on other nations. Huawei denies that any of its products pose a national security risk.

The next generation wireless technology, or 5G is the next generation of mobile internet, delivering super fast download speeds and more reliable connections on smartphones.

“We think that it’s absolutely critical for countries to be considering all of the long-term consequences and ramifications of going with suppliers from countries that have pursued a totalitarian vision for the role of the state in peoples’ lives and in the economy and in the culture and the like,” said a senior Trump administration official.

“So that’s really something that all countries need to take heed of,” the official said when asked about its message to countries that are planning to opt for 5G technology from Huawei, which is reported to have links with the Chinese government.

Irrespective of the country, the US believes that having a safe and reliable infrastructure for 5G systems is critical for all nations’ ability to preserve their sovereignty in the 5G era, the Trump administration official noted.

With 5G, one is talking about a paradigm shift in technology, not an incremental one, the official emphasised.

“One in which all of our daily lives are going to be saturated with sensors that are going to be communicating with one another, not just the old paradigm of a couple cell phones talking to a core network through cell phone towers and routers and then coming back down to another cell user,” said the official.

5G will permit devices to communicate very rapidly with one another, and that creates enormous opportunities for predatory and authoritarian states to steal the most intimate data, whether it’s a personal data as citizens or corporate secrets or very sensitive government and security-related secrets, said the official.

Huawei has become a flashpoint in the US-China trade war. Even before the trade blacklist, the US had been leading an effort to curb Huawei’s ambitions to become the global leader of 5G.

Huawei on Tuesday said sales jumped to more than USD 58 billion in the first six months of this year, boosted by growth in the tech firm’s smartphone business and an uptick in 5G network contracts. PTI

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