5G Espionage (II)

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BERLIN/BEIJING/WASHINGTON (Own report) – An opening is emerging for Berlin to be able to include Huawei in Germany’s 5G grid installation – contrary to the massive US campaign. The President of the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) Arne Schönbohm declared that “an anti-espionage treaty” between Germany and China could help, open the possibility of Huawei’s participation in setting up the grid. Chancellor Angela Merkel is currently seeking to conclude such an agreement. The industry is in favor of using Huawei Technology, because it promises to be the fastest and most cost-effective construction of the strategically important 5G grid. Experts warn that without Huawei, Germany could lag at least two years behind in the development. Meanwhile it has become known that for years, the NSA has been eavesdropping not only on China’s president but on Huawei as well. Allegedly, US spies cannot show any evidence of Huawei being involved in espionage operations – even after having read the emails of numerous employees and those of the company’s board chair.

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The Battle Over Huawei (II)

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BERLIN/WASHINGTON/BEIJING (Own report) – Strong criticism is coming from Germany’s business community, as the German government prepares to exclude the Chinese company Huawei Technologies from the development of Germany’s 5G network. According to media reports, the government tender for the 5G will be formulated in such a way that Huawei cannot apply. This is based on allegations of espionage by US intelligence services, for which, not a single piece of evidence has been presented anywhere in the world. The Trump administration is seeking to shut Huawei and other Chinese high-tech companies out of the US market, to drive them bankrupt. The US is calling on its allies to join; and in mid-December, a US delegation visited Germany’s foreign ministry to apply pressure. This aggression is aimed at halting China’s ascendance. Protest is being raised from Germany’s business community: Huawei is leading in 5G technology and a functioning 5G network is imperative for using state-of-the-art technologies of the future. Managers warn that excluding Huawei would mean higher costs and a painful setback in Germany’s 5G development.

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The Battle over Huawei

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BERLIN/WASHINGTON/BEIJING (Own report) – With the USA escalating its measures against Huawei Technologies, Berlin is faced with deciding whether to continue its cooperation with that Chinese telecommunications company. Until now, the competent German administrations have been considering cooperating with Huawei for the development of the important 5G mobile communications standards. With its experience, the Chinese company could reliably set up the German network rather quickly and at favorable costs. For German business, it is of utmost importance not to fall behind even further in the development of future state-of-the art technologies. Washington, however, is pushing for the Chinese company to be excluded. The Trump administration – without any evidence, according to experts – is accusing it of having close ties to the Chinese government and intelligence agencies. Washington is indeed seeking to damage Huawei seriously – the world’s largest network provider and second largest smartphone producer – to halt China’s ascendance. Berlin must decide whether it wants to join that battle against Huawei in the economic war against Beijing.

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The NSA’s Hidden Spy Hubs in Eight U.S. Cities

A VERY long read that is worth your while.

It reminds you of how well you don’t know your city if you’re living in one of these eight.

 

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420 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles

 

The secrets are hidden behind fortified walls in cities across the United States, inside towering, windowless skyscrapers and fortress-like concrete structures that were built to withstand earthquakes and even nuclear attack. Thousands of people pass by the buildings each day and rarely give them a second glance, because their function is not publicly known. They are an integral part of one of the world’s largest telecommunications networks – and they are also linked to a controversial National Security Agency surveillance program.

Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. In each of these cities, The Intercept has identified an AT&T facility containing networking equipment that transports large quantities of internet traffic across the United States and the world. A body of evidence – including classified NSA documents, public records, and interviews with several former AT&T employees – indicates that the buildings are central to an NSA spying initiative that has for years monitored billions of emails, phone calls, and online chats passing across U.S. territory.

The NSA considers AT&T to be one of its most trusted partners and has lauded the company’s “extreme willingness to help.” It is a collaboration that dates back decades. Little known, however, is that its scope is not restricted to AT&T’s customers. According to the NSA’s documents, it values AT&T not only because it “has access to information that transits the nation,” but also because it maintains unique relationships with other phone and internet providers. The NSA exploits these relationships for surveillance purposes, commandeering AT&T’s massive infrastructure and using it as a platform to covertly tap into communications processed by other companies. Continue reading

Germans Are Paranoid that the US Is Spying on Their Data

The idea of personal data privacy is deeply ingrained in German culture. Germans even have a word for it: Datensparsamkeit, the principle of only collecting the bare minimum of data necessary.

In June 2014, the German Bundestag, or national parliament, canceled its internet-service contract with US telecom Verizon, opting to entrust its data to German company Deutsche Telekom, instead. The alleged tapping of Angela Merkel’s personal cell phone in Dec. 2013, has led the German chancellor to compare the NSA to the East German secret police, and German citizens remain outraged at the NSA’s actions in their country—just yesterday, Apr. 23, national news magazine Der Spiegel revealed (link in German) that the agency had monitored Western European businesses for more than a year. Continue reading

Chinese Cabinet Receives Full Military Honors in Berlin

A contract signed in front of Li Keqiang, premier of the People’s Republic of China and party secretary of the State Council (second row Left), and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (second row Right) during a signing ceremony on October 10, in Berlin, Germany. (Adam Berry/Getty Images)

 

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, 14 members of his cabinet and 130 business leaders were received in Berlin with full military honors on October 10. The two cabinets met and, along with the business leaders, signed agreements and contracts worth over $2.5 billion.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised the “very intensive cooperation” that exists between the two nations, while Premier Li called Germany the “locomotive for cooperation between China and Europe.” Continue reading

U.S. ‘Monitoring’ Development Of European Communication Network Proposals

In February, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that she’s going to talk to the President of France, Francois Hollande, about building a separate communications network for Europe so as to stop data from passing through the U.S. The U.S. has criticized such proposals and has said that they may breach international trade laws. Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said that obstructions to cross-border data flows are a serious and growing concern. Continue reading

Spy-Proofing: Deutsche Telekom Pushes for All-German Internet

Even before it emerged that the National Security Agency had wiretapped her mobile phone, German ChancellorAngela Merkel was calling for the Internet to have something like Airbus — a joint European initiative able to compete with the dominance of American and Chinese high-tech companies, just as Airbus does with the US aerospace giant Boeing.

Currently, the global market for software and online services is firmly in American hands. What’s more, American corporations, such as Google, are subject to the Patriot Act, which requires them to allow American intelligence agencies access to their data centers. Continue reading

The Secret Ways of Chinese Telecom Giant Huawei

Regardless of all the whitewashing of military background connections, there is no such thing as ex-PLA when you’re in the higher echlelon. Regardless of all the things you hear about China being a Democracy, a state-controlled Democracy isn’t a Democracy. To put it simply, Huawei is state-owned and harbors intentions other than providing technology solutions to the world. Its number one aim via manchurian chips is espionage, spying and information gathering… all for the state.

Almost a third of the planet is thought to be using its products and yet few know much about the highly secretive Chinese telecommunication equipment company Huawei. Should customers be concerned about the company founder’s military background or the security vulnerabilities of its products?

The first problem is just saying the company’s name. Huawei is pronounced wah-way. It means something like “China acts!”

The second problem is its patriotic swagger. The telecommunications networking equipment and mobile phone supplier, based in the southeastern Chinese city of Shenzhen, is accused of secretly spreading high-tech spying devices around the world, having close ties with the Chinese military and supplying products to pariah states like Iran. A recent report by the Intelligence Committee of the United States House of Representatives warned against using the company’s products for critical telecommunications infrastructure. The Australian government has also blocked the company from bidding for contracts related to the construction of its national broadband network. Continue reading