Huawei trademarks its own mobile OS following US ban

Meanwhile, Huawei has made its feelings about its ban clear in an ex parte memo to the Federal Communications Commission. The letter, published this week, condemns the decision to ban the company on the grounds of national security threats, noting that doing so will “do little or nothing to protect the security of America’s telecommunications networks,” and that forcing operators to replace their existing equipment would “pose a greater threat” to network security.

And the ban isn’t the only legal challenge the company is up against. As reported in The New York Times, Huawei is said to be seeking patent fees from Verizon. People familiar with the matter say the company has accused Verizon of violating 238 of its patents, and is making claims adding up to more than $1 billion. Whether or not it is successful in its claims remains to be seen, but [...]  read more

Major science publisher bars Huawei from reviewing papers

While this isn’t as dire for Huawei as moves by Google, Intel and others to honor US rules and cut off support, there are potentially significant ramifications. This makes it harder for scientists to advance discoveries in areas where Huawei is a specialist, such as AI. It could also deter Huawei from submitting papers if the company sees the IEEE as hostile to its work.

As it stands, this is only likely to put Huawei further on edge. The company has been increasingly confrontational over the US ban, to the point where it accused FedEx of diverting packages — it’s going to be irked at losing some of its scientific clout. There’s not much it can do to return to the IEEE’s good graces unless the US changes its mind, though, so it may have to live with the consequences unless the US changes its mind.

social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #engadget https://www.engadget.com/2019/06/01/ieee-bans-huawei-from-reviewing-papers/

National security journalism just became a national security threat

Six years ago, British intelligence officers walked into the offices of The Guardian newspaper in London and demanded its staff destroy computers they believed stored highly classified documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

In the basement of the newspaper’s offices, editors used angle-grinders and drills to destroy the computers in an effort to render its data unusable after “weeks of tense negotiations” between the newspaper and the British government, which faced pressure from U.S. authorities to return the leaked top secret documents. The U.S. and Britain are close intelligence sharing partners. Despite the fact that there were several copies of the NSA documents — including in the U.S — the newspaper faced a threat of punitive legal action or prosecution if they declined.

“The only way of protecting the Guardian’s team was for the paper to destroy its own computers,” said Luke Harding, a Guardian journalist.

In the years of citing this case in why press [...]  read more

Huawei is banned from using SD cards in future devices

The SD Association confirmed to Engadget that Huawei was dropped from the trade group in order to comply with recent orders from the US Department of Commerce. Last week, the government agency placed Huawei and 70 of its affiliate companies on its “Entity List,” a decision that signifies the government believes Huawei may be undermining American interests. It also makes the company ineligible to receive items or funding without government approval. That, in addition to the executive order signed by President Trump that bans the sale and use of telecommunications equipment from companies that pose “unacceptable” risks to national security, has placed Huawei in a significant bind.

Huawei told Android Authority that its customers will be able to continue purchasing and using SD and microSD cards with its products for the time being. It’s not clear how the move will [...]  read more

Many of the Brexit Party’s Twitter followers appear to be bots

Some of these accounts have been producing massive volumes of tweets focused on Brexit, and clearly in unrealistic amounts. One tweeted 823 times in the space of a day. Some are new, while others are from outside the UK. Regardless of behavior, the surge of new followers for the party suggested “inorganic” behavior.

Just who is behind the accounts isn’t clear. It could be “astroturfing” where organizers or supporters artificially inflate follower counts and messages to make the party seem more popular than it is. However, it could also represent an outside influence campaign trying the familiar tactic of stoking political tensions to weaken the country’s resolve. A spokesperson claimed the party didn’t have any more control over individuals creating accounts than it did “the weather,” but that didn’t address concerns about highly automated account creation or buying legions of fake followers.

Twitter has banned at least seven [...]  read more

US may soften ban on Huawei to help existing users

Huawei would still face severe restrictions. It could buy US goods for maintenance, it couldn’t use those goods to create new products.

A softened ban wouldn’t likely ease tensions between China and the US. Huawei has insisted that the de facto ban will create “significant economic harm” for Americans, and China has interpreted it as an escalation of an ongoing trade war. This just shows that the US can’t distance itself from Chinese telecom tech as easily as it might like.

social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #engadget https://www.engadget.com/2019/05/18/us-may-soften-ban-on-huawei/

China is blocking Wikipedia in every language

It’s not certain exactly why China decided to block other languages, but the move comes just weeks before the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests, which culminated in a violent government crackdown. China typically blocks access to specific web pages referencing the tragedy, but it can’t do that on Wikipedia after the site switched to HTTPS and made it effectively impossible for censors to see the individual pages people are viewing. A blanket ban would be the only way to prevent people from reading content, especially since translation is readily available.

The Chinese government hasn’t been shy about clamping down on internet speech as of late, to the point where it will target Twitter users who criticize the government despite the social network being (officially) inaccessible in the country. The block on Wikipedia could nonetheless be more painful than some efforts. [...]  read more

Senators ask the FCC to limit 5G auction to protect weather forecasts

The concern raised in the original Navy memo is that weather forecasts could be lost or degraded due to interference from 5G operating in the 24 GHz band. As the memo explains, the Navy relies on forecasts from NOAA and NASA that use remote sensing in the 23.6-24 GHz bands to determine water vapor. While the FCC isn’t auctioning the spectrum bands that NOAA and NASA rely on, studies show the adjacent 5G band 24.25 GHz can interfere with critical data collection. The Navy asked the FCC to reduce bleed-over limits to protect the 23.6 – 24 GHz bands and to work with NOAA and NASA going forward.

In the letter penned yesterday, Wyden and Cantwell warned that to continue down the path the FCC is currently on “could lead to dangerous impacts on American national security, to American industries, and to the American people.” They ask the FCC not to award any final licenses in the 24 GHz spectrum until the FCC approves band protection limits deemed necessary by NASA and [...]  read more

Facebook reportedly invites federal oversight of its privacy practices

As part of this tradeoff, Facebook may face a multi-billion dollar fine from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Sources told The Washington Post that Facebook would also have to more rigorously review new products and services, document its decisions and efforts to avoid privacy pitfalls and take a more active role in policing third-party app developers. Facebook decision-makers could be required to complete quarterly assessments of the company’s privacy safeguards, and those reports would be reviewed by independent members of the company’s board.

Facebook could also have to submit to FTC-approved checkups by third-party watchdogs, and it would be required to report privacy violations as soon as possible. Future privacy mishaps could lead to even heftier fines.

As The Washington Post notes, negotiations between Facebook and the FTC are ongoing, and the settlement could change drastically before it’s final. Still, the fact that Facebook is willingly inviting [...]  read more

The CIA is now on Instagram

Staged shots? Cheesy out-of-context quotes and props? Possible haircare sponcon? To the credit of America’s clandestine services, it obviously understands what Instagram is all about. According to CNET, the post also includes a few Easter eggs for CIA nerds, such as CIA Director Gina Haspel’s original agency badge and a notebook with the agency’s motto, “Share what we can, protect what we must,” in Arabic.


Why do the folks at Langley want an Instagram presence? Haspel said last week that the CIA would launch an Instagram account in an effort to increase transparency. Unfortunately, Instagram’s world of filtered “I woke up like this” selfies, influencers posing with sponsored products in exotic locales and celebrities posting staged Instagram stories probably isn’t the best place to do it.

Instagram is for making other people jealous, as federal agencies like NASA, NOAA, and the Department of Defense have quickly learned. NASA’s [...]  read more