Since the revolution in telecommunications prompted by the massive use of the Internet, the management of computer systems has become an essential part of the security strategy of governments around the world. At first, one could infer the identity of those who stole public information by its modus operandi and by the type of information stolen, since -generally- corresponded to political motivations. However, currently, the amount of information available on the internet and that can be the subject of theft is massive. As the number of users and servers in the network increases exponentially, the perpetrators of cyber attacks become practically invisible.

Even so, it is possible to know the country of origin of a cyber attack, but not the identity of the authors; that is, if they are attacks carried out by individuals or by governments. According to a study published by Fortune Magazine in 2015, it can take up to 205 days for an organization to realize that it was the victim of a hack. So, by the time organizations discover it, it’s usually too late.

Currently, the biggest threat to the cybersecurity of organizations and governments, are -justly- foreign governments, not private individuals. For this reason, media cases of hacking or cyber attacks, mainly carried out by Russia and North Korea, have increased. Therefore, Western countries have increased their efforts and measures to prevent them. This explains the growing concern generated by the entry of foreign telecommunications companies into their markets.

Throughout 2018, several instances of the government of the United States have expressed the possibility of being victims of cyber attacks by the Chinese government. As a result, President Donald Trump barred government officials from using Chinese-branded devices. Also, the director of the FBI, Chris Way , recently stated that allowing the positioning of foreign companies that do not share US values ​​represents a serious risk for his country. One of the companies that causes alarm among the US government. UU it’s Huawei; the arrest of its financial director is a sign of these concerns.

Huawei is the fastest growing telecommunications company in the world and recently outperformed Apple in the mobile device market. She is expected to become the leading provider of fifth generation (5G) smartphones. For this to happen, it needs to increase investment in telecommunications infrastructure for the creation of the 5G network. Although Huawei has said that it has no links with the Chinese government, several governments fear that a network of such technological level will increase intelligence capabilities of the Asian giant.

Western attempts to stop Huawei have already escalated politically. On December 1, Washington asked Ottawa for the arrest of the Chinese brand’s financial director, Meng Wanzhou , on the grounds that Huawei helps Iran to avoid sanctions imposed by the Trump administration, through a subsidiary of the company.

China reacted by arguing that this speech based on the protection of the national security of EE. UU it’s just an excuse to stop the expansion of Huawei. The Chinese government launched a diplomatic campaign in both Canada and Washington to free Wanzhou , including arresting a Canadian citizen based in China. The Asian country managed to get the benefit of house arrest to the director of Huawei.

Such is the concern that China causes to the West that the governments of Germany and England promoted changes to their laws to prevent foreign companies from having a greater than 15% stake in projects in strategic sectors (among them, telecommunications). This limits the possibility that Huawei, understand China, will become the main supplier of the 5G network in these countries.

On the other hand, in recent statements, the Vice President of the European Commission, Andrus Ansip , said that the European Union should fear that the Chinese government obtain private information from its citizens through devices of companies such as Huawei. In this regard, the European Commission considers that the investments of Chinese companies represent a risk to the sovereignty and security of the Member States; The Commission is concerned about the possibility of Chinese private companies collaborating with their government’s intelligence services.

This eventual deployment of the 5G network has motivated the United States to lead a front against the increase of Chinese presence in virtually the entire world. In addition to the European governments, Japan, Australia and New Zealand have joined the blockade of the participation of Chinese companies in their telecommunications markets to avoid hacking their systems.





Photo by Kamil Kot on Unsplash

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