Self-described feminist and “accidental writer” Beth Angsioco in a tweet recently posed this question to the Titas of the Philippine Twitterverse…
Will you subscribe to a Chinese telco? Throwing this question to Twitterverse.
True to form of Philippine Titadom, the responses were shrill.
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There is hope though. One of them, after deciding “Absolutely not!”, at least bothered to ask the sensible question, “I just want to know though, if the Chinese telco will be the third player, will our entire national telecoms be compromised anyway?”
Well. There is no short answer to that — certainly not something that can be resolved in a Twitter thread. To be fair, the Philippines is not alone in seriously considering the implications of embedding Chinese hardware deep in its telco infrastructure. The British, for one, had taken that plunge some time ago and is reportedly experiencing “buyer’s remorse” following concerns “aired in a 2013 Intelligence and Security Committee report”…
“The Chinese state may be able to exploit any vulnerabilities in Huawei’s equipment in order to gain some access to the BT network, which would provide them with an attractive espionage opportunity,” the report says.
And it went on to say such vulnerabilities would be hard to detect and prevent and would enable the Chinese “to intercept covertly or disrupt traffic passing through Huawei supplied networks”.
Apply a bit of perspective to this “issue” and consider that China already has stolen so much from the free world. The Internet and practically everything that runs on it are products of the US military and the awesome might of its vast private enterprise. These are technologies a communist country like China would have been unable to develop and deploy to the scale and timeframe the West had achieved. It is therefore ironic that the West now faces an adversary wielding weapons of its own creation.
People scared of China stealing information or anything for that matter should fear not. That’s a fear that comes too late to be of any further consequence.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.