Here is a story about the Chinese company Huawei attempting to have AT&T certify their “Kim mobile phone chipset” for use on the AT&T network. Possibly leading to the sales of Huawei-based communications devices in the United States.
So I could not help wondering why would we allow the use of foreign chips produced by one of our economic, if not military, enemies who just happens to be a trading partner. Considering what happened with the Stuxnet virus aimed at Siemens’ process controllers, what would keep the Chinese from hiding the same type of functionality in domestic phones? Phones that could damage the network and deny Americans communications during a natural disaster or other emergencies?
As first reported by the web site The Information, Huawei is trying to work out a deal with AT&T, one of the largest U.S. carrier, but talks have barely begun. The Chinese manufacturer is in the early stages of having AT&T approve its proprietary Kirin mobile phone chip set for use on AT&T's network, according to a person familiar with the situation.
Still, AT&T has yet to accredit Kirin and is frequently approached for such approvals, which are not always granted. Even if the chips are approved, Huawei would have to negotiate full terms and conditions for AT&T stocking its phones, a next step that's yet to begin.
Both companies declined to comment.
Spy Software Found Preinstalled on Lenovo, Huawei, and Xiaomi Smartphones
Malware that can listen to calls, track users, and make online purchases was found pre-installed on smartphones from Chinese companies including Lenovo, Huawei, and Xiaomi. The latest findings, from German cybersecurity company G DATA, add to a growing list of similar spying software found on smartphones from Chinese companies. <Source>
Is America handing our enemies the keys to the kingdom?
In technology, this web of international "coopetition" is particularly prevalent. One of the weirder cases is antivirus software, which is often made in the very countries we're particularly concerned about when it comes to malware.
Kaspersky Labs, for example, which produces one of the most popular antimalware products in use here in America, is made by a company with deep ties to Russian intelligence operations. Huawei bought out Symantec's stake in a joint venture -- a joint venture that led to Huawei gaining access to much of Symantec's antivirus code.
This all brings us back to a Huawei-built smartphone sold to America's most ardent Google users.
While ZTE and Huawei deny any charges of enabling backdoors in their networking hardware, even Congressional investigators felt that there was a reasonable suspicion that the Chinese hardware makers are building in easy-access espionage portals into their hardware. In fact, there was rare bipartisan support of a possible ban on Huawei hardware.
With President Trump’s “buy American” theme, why not bring the manufacturing of chipsets back onshore and build our own phones? Qualcomm is a local company (San Diego, California) and I would much rather have a Qualcomm chipset my phone than a Chinese one.
Bottom line …
It will ultimately be up to the consumers whether of not they are willing to compromise our economy and national security for a cheap mobile phone. And, when will American individuals and companies stop selling-out to those who do not wish us well?
We are so screwed.
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius