5G

Competition is essential to create a secure and innovative supply chain for 5G

Open markets and free trade have increased consumers’ prosperity in Europe and across the world. The impact of the technological advances that contributed to a massive connectivity and freedom of consumers would not have been possible without the existence of a global set of standards that promote competition and choice in the global market for information and communication technologies (ICT). The flipside of this bespoke connectivity can be seen in growing fear about massive data leaks and authoritarian governments targeting cyber-attacks at liberal democracies. News of all mobile data being rerouted from Europe through some Chinese nodes isn’t happening in a Black Mirror episode but is the frightening reality these days.

For decades telecommunications and internet-enabled businesses have relied on openness to operate complex networks and preserve the integrity of the information transmitted. Their efficiency and the ease with which consumers access these services depends on seamless interoperability across key technology vendors and the technical standards that underpin the network components that they build.

However, modern political realities have revealed the caveats of this globalized and interconnected system. As former German Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor Joschka Fischer wrote, “technology andsoftware exports are no longer just a matter of business; they are about power.” This is particularly evident in the telecommunications sector. National governments’ desire to field next generation 5G networks is being tempered by their growing concern over the security pitfalls created by the overreliance and dominance of untrustworthy vendors in the supply chain for 5G technology. The importance of a secure 5G is evident as governments across the European Union are currently undertaking comprehensive assessments of their exposure and risk to security vulnerabilities in the supply chain.  

While potential threats to national security are serious, pursuing a strategy of brinkmanship risks elevating geopolitical concerns at the expense of an opportunity to enact comprehensive standards for 5G. National governments and industry must reinforce their commitments to the principles that gave  consumers a thriving global technology sector in the first place: open markets and choice for ICT products and services. Safeguarding consumer privacy and security requires a coordinated framework to facilitate vendor diversity. Additionally, liberal democracies need to ensure that no single vendor from an autocratic or illiberal country of origin can monopolize their respective ICT market for 5G or legacy 4G and LTE networks.  

Security must be a defining feature of the standards and norms that govern the global ICT supply chain as well as the individual pieces of software and hardware that businesses and consumers depend on. Inaction risks the ability of businesses and consumers to exercise meaningful choice in critical 5G and other ICT products and services. Some of the EU’s largest member states, such as Germany and Italy, have used the auctions of spectrum licenses as a cash cow for their national budgets instead of seeing newly utilized frequencies as a gamechanger for consumers’ connectivity. This has led to the undesired consequence that many operators are cash-strapped and tend to go for the cheapest rather than the most trustworthy infrastructure provider. This has led us to a path dependency of toxic reliance on very few suppliers with questionable motives.

With coordinated technical standards for interoperability, such as the more trustworthy open source solutions, comes greater trust and transparency. As advancements in technology transform all matter of global exchange these principles must be reinforced and expanded to better protect consumers, promote innovation and foster a safe and secure digital ecosystem.

Fred Roeder, Managing Director of the Consumer Choice Center, and Luca Bertoletti, European Affairs Manager of the Consumer Choice Center

Originally published here

Deimantė Rimkutė. ES – pasaulio duomenų policininkė?

Lisabonos sutartimi visuotinai patvirtinta Europos Sąjungos Pagrindinių teisių chartija įtvirtino naują žmogaus teisę. Tai teisė į duomenų apsaugą. Tuomet dar niekas nežinojo, kokią įtaką globaliam pasauliui ji turės.

Nuo gero administravimo principo sudedamosios iki žmogaus teisės

Pirmasis Europos Sąjungos teisės aktas, reglamentuojantis duomenų apsaugą, patvirtintas 1995 m.. Tiesa, šioje direktyvoje duomenų apsauga pirmiausiai siejosi su gero administravimo principais. Laikui bėgant duomenų apsaugos traktavimas keitėsi ir jos svarbumas augo. 2009 m. Europos Sąjunga aštuntame Chartijos straipsnyje įtvirtindama teisę į duomenų apsaugą kaip žmogaus teisę tapo pasauline pioniere. Joks kitas tarptautinis teisės aktas, o tarp jų ir Tarptautinė pilietinių ir politinių teisių konvencija, jos prieš tai nenumatė.

Šis veiksmas akademiniame pasaulyje kėlė intriguojančias diskusijas. Dažniausiai duomenų apsauga buvo pateikiama kaip kitų teisių sudedamoji. Vokietijos konstitucinis teismas ją siejo su orumu, Prancūzijos su laisve. Ji taip pat buvo susijusi su daugeliu kitų: teise į privatumą, teise reikšti savo įsitikinimus, išpažinti religiją, saviraiškos laisve, teisingu teismu. Kilo klausimų, kas duomenų apsaugą pateisina kaip savarankišką žmogaus teisę? Matyt, kad grėsmė. Teisė tampa žmogaus teise, kai ji siejasi su tam tikromis svarbiomis vertybėmis, o šių apsaugai kyla pavojus.

Kaip teigia mokslininkas Yvonne McDermott, skaidrumas, nediskriminacija, individo autonomija, privatumas – yra vertybės, kurias šiandien, skaitmenizacijos amžiuje, užtikrinti vis sunkiau. Kai ankstesnių pramonės revoliucijų įkvėpimo šaltinis buvo i) mechanizacija, ii) elektra ir degalai, iii) atominė energija, ketvirtoji pramonės revoliucija pasižymi naujosiomis technologijomis, o tarp jų ir vis didėjančia duomenų svarba.

Ir nors visiškai užkirsti kelią laisvam duomenų tekėjimui – ne tik naivu, bet ir netikslinga, tačiau stengtis užtikrinti duomenų apsaugą bei apsaugoti Europos Sąjungos piliečius – svarbu ir pozityvu.
Šį tikslą tiek Europai, tiek visam likusiam laisvam pasauliui iškėlė Europos politikai. Na, o Chartijoje numatyta duomenų apsaugos kaip žmogaus teisės užuomina buvo realizuota Bendrajame duomenų apsaugos reglamente. Būtent šis veiksmas prie ES pavadinimo prilipino ,,duomenų policininko“ etiketę.

Jau paminėtos vertybės bei jų apsaugojimas šiuo metu realizuojamas Europos Sąjungos valstybės narėse. Privatumo idėja turi skirtingas interpretacijas, vieni ją gali sieti su mažesniais privatumo lūkesčiais, kiti su platesniu jų spektru, akivaizdu, kad vienais atvejais duomenų rinkimas pateisinamas, tačiau kitais – jis smerktinas ir proporcingai nereikalingas.

Žmogaus autonomija susijusi su savo paties galimybe duomenis kontroliuoti. Skaidrumas reiškia galimybę žinoti, kad duomenys gali būti apdorojami bei apdorojimo būdus. Nediskriminacija taip pat siejasi su skaidrumu, duomenų valdytojas turi užtikrinti prevencinius mechanizmus, kurie užkirstų kelią galimai diskriminacijai. Žinoma, pozityvus tikslas nebūtinai garantuoja norimą rezultatą.

Duomenų apsaugos kaip žmogaus teisės įgyvendinimo iššūkiai

Vienas iš pagrindinių iššūkių duomenų apsaugoje yra didelis kiekis savanoriškai teikiamų duomenų. Socialiniai tinklai, įvairūs prietaisai, kuriuos mes naudojame, renka duomenis apie mūsų biologinę, fizinę, elgsenos informaciją. Naujoji Daiktų interneto (Internet of Things) technologija gali prisidėti prie ne vien prie individualaus naudotojo duomenų rinkimo, bet ir prie jo aplinkoje esančių asmenų informacijos prieigos.

Kitas svarbus klausimas susijęs masiniu sekimu ir valstybių įsikišimo užmojo ribų nustatymu. Buvusio JAV Nacionalinės saugumo agentūros darbuotojo Edwardo Snowdeno informacijos nutekinimas atskleidė, kad visuotinis sekimas gali prisidėti prie teroristinių atakų grėsmės apčiuopimo. Taigi, šiandien susiduriame su sekimo metodų kismu ir aprėpties didėjimu.

Skaitmeninis amžius lemia, kad vis didesnės pastangos telkiamos į duomenimis grįstą sekimą (data surveillance). Akivaizdu, kad tai kuo toliau, tuo labiau kels vis daugiau klausimų, kas yra proporcingas duomenų gavimas, kada jis būtinas ir neišvengiamas.

Duomenų apsaugos klausimas iškyla ir tarptautinio bendradarbiavimo kontekste. Lyderiai neslepia, kad Europos Sąjunga siekia savo privatumo politiką eksportuoti į kitas valstybes bei nacionalinę jų teisę. Vienu atveju tai vyksta per prekybos susitarimus, kitu – per kitas tarptautines sutartis. Na, o gegužę Europos Komisija Pasaulio prekybos organizacijai pristatė e. komercijos taisykles, kurios apsaugotų vartotojus nuo galimų pažeidimų. Tai prisidėtų prie globalaus duomenų apsaugos teisės, kaip žmogaus teisės, pripažinimo.

Originally published here

Deimantė Rimkutė: Tavo (ne)privatumas 5G interneto amžiuje Skaitykite daugiau:

Galbūt iš pirmo žvilgsnio ši frazė gali būti priimta nerūpestingai: „na, ir kas?“ Žinoma, gal ir nieko blogo. Juk būtent dėl to gauname pasiūlymus, kurie kur kas aktualesni. Surinkti duomenys suteikia galimybę paslauga džiaugtis nemokant papildomos naudojimosi kainos. Tačiau lazda turi du galus; didėjantis duomenų surinkimo kiekis atneša ir tam tikras rizikas.

Žmogų apibrėžia ne vien jo asmens kodas, jis yra savimi, nes turi tam tikrą identitetą. Asmeniniai duomenys neatskiriama to dalis, jie atskleidžia žmogaus charakteristiką ir ją iliustruoja. Ši informacija gali būti itin vertinga tiems, kurie turi nebūtinai pačius geriausius tikslus. Dar visai neseniai viešoje erdvėje nuskambėjo JAV prezidento Donaldo Trumpo rinkimų ar Brexito kampanijos technologiniai sprendimai. Surinkti duomenys gali padėjo paveikti rinkimų rezultatus.

Platesniame kontekste per didelis produkto ar paslaugos individualizavimas gali pradėti kurti tam tikrus informacijos „getus“, kai gauname tik tam tikrą specifinę informaciją, kuri mums patinka, o ne tą, kurią galbūt taip pat reikėtų žinoti. Taip pat kiekvieną dieną tarptautinėje erdvėje girdima apie naujas tapatybės vagystes bei finansinius nusikaltimus. Atsakomybė dažnai krenta „paslaugos“ davėjui. Blogiausia, kad verslas ne visada pasirūpina savo vartotojų apsauga ir sukuria galimybę įsilaužėliams patekti į „duomenų namus“ per galines duris.

Tokie incidentai yra įrodymas, kad vartotojų duomenų saugumas ir privatumas nėra pakankamai apsaugotas ir trūksta jau dabar galiojančios teisės mechanizmų įgyvendinimo efektyvumo bei papildomų teisinių priemonių. Protingos politikos atsakas – neišvengiamas. Taigi, kyla klausimas, kaip tobulinti jau esamą tvarką?

Blogiausia, kad verslas ne visada pasirūpina savo vartotojų apsauga ir sukuria galimybę įsilaužėliams patekti į „duomenų namus“ per galines duris.

Sprendimai

Nėra vieno sprendimo, kuris užtikrintų duomenų apsaugą. Tačiau galimos skirtingos politikos pasiūlymų kombinacijos. Neseniai atliktame Consumer Choice Center tyrime buvo išskirti trys esminiai elementai: griežtesnė teisinė atsakomybė, papildomi sertifikavimo kriterijai bei draudimai, susiję su kilmės šalimi.

Pažeidimai įvyksta, nes, dažnu atveju, atsakingi asmenys nesielgia taip, kaip nurodyta teisės normose. Nors jau šiandien egzistuoja keli mechanizmai, kurie turėtų tai užtikrinti, akivaizdu, kad jie nėra efektyvūs arba užtektinai nekonkretūs. Tiek ES, tiek nacionalinės elektroninio saugumo taisyklės paprastai konkrečių priemonių nereikalauja apart „tinkamų priemonių“.

ES lygmenyje turėtų būti priimamos papildomos taisyklės, kurios užtikrintų vartotojų apsaugą programinės įrangos naudojimo, pardavimo ar perpardavimo kontekste, kai tai susiję su duomenų apsauga. Svarbu, kad visi papildomi techniniai standartai būtų neutralūs, visai kaip ir pati technologija, neturėtų būti reikalaujama naudoti specifinius tam tikrus paslaugų produktus, nes tai sukeltų kliūtis naujiems rinkos žaidėjams, inovacijų plėtrai.

Taip pat svarbu įsivesti tam tikras saugumo lubas ir grindis, mechanizmą, kuriuo vadovaujantis atsakomybė būtų sumažinta arba pašalinta. Jau dabar egzistuoja ES Kibernetinis aktas, remiantis jo nuostatomis galima būtų sukurti papildomus reikalavimus.

Nors jau šiandien egzistuoja keli mechanizmai, kurie turėtų tai užtikrinti, akivaizdu, kad jie nėra efektyvūs arba užtektinai nekonkretūs.

Anksčiau paminėti draudimai pagal kilmės šalį turėtų būti paskutinė priemonė. Dėl tam tikrų priežasčių galima manyti, kad kai kurios ES vyriausybės daro teisinį ar neteisėtą spaudimą privačioms įmonėms, skatindamos įtraukti programinės įrangos pažeidžiamumą, kuris gali būti panaudotas vyriausybių atstovų. Tai vėliau gali būti naudojama kaip didmeninių draudimų pagal kilmės šalį pateisinimo priežastis. Tokio tipo draudimas tikėtinai naudingi vartotojams nebus. Antra vertus, nerandant kito veiksmingo sprendimo ir nerandant aiškių sprendimų, šis pasiūlymas galėtų būti priimtinas.

Asmens duomenų, privatumo srities reglamentavimas turėtų būti grindžiamas ne vien ekonominėmis laisvėmis, bet ir tam tikra žmogaus teisių apsauga. Juk Lietuvos Respublikos Konstitucija įtvirtina asmens teisę į privatumą ir orumą. Akivaizdu, kad didėjant asmens duomenų reikšmei, ši sritis reikalauja tinkamesnio reglamentavimo, kuris užtikrintų žmogaus teises, tačiau taip pat ir nesužlugdytų inovacijų plėtros.

Originally published here

EU-US Talks On 5G Network Infrastructure Is Good News For Consumers

Brussels, BE – Yesterday, the EU-U.S. Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial had a meeting in Brussels during which among other topics participants recognised that the deployment of 5G network infrastructure needs to be addressed as a matter of priority, as it might pose significant security risks.

The European Union and the United States committed to further pursue their exchanges on assessing and managing 5G and supply chain security risks through existing channels, including the Justice and Home Affairs meetings.

Luca Bertoletti, European Affairs Manager at the Consumer Choice Center, praised this development and said that it was an important step towards safeguarding consumer privacy in Europe and the U.S.

“Although, this is just the start, much more needs to be done to arrive at common smart regulations for 5G technology. Blunt instruments like total bans based on country of origin should be seen as measures of last resort. But the privacy of consumers and protecting them from vulnerabilities and backdoors needs to be paramount when rolling out 5G,” said Bertoletti.

“Using liability rules for operators and resellers of software and devices that expose consumers to the risk of malicious and illegal interference should be taken into account at the next meeting. Additionally, we believe that the U.S. should consider implementing the EU’s “Cybersecurity Act” into its legislation on 5G. Regulatory alignment is what will better serve the interests of consumers in the two biggest economies of the world.

“We hope to see more developments in the coming months on this issue and we encourage the two bodies to arrive at the next meeting in the second half of the year with a draft common policy to safeguard consumers’ privacy and at the same time boost innovation,” concludes Bertoletti.

The Consumer Choice Center published a policy note on Consumer Privacy in the Age of 5G that can be found here.


The Consumer Choice Center is the consumer advocacy group supporting lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science, and consumer choice. The main policy areas we focus on are digital, mobility, lifestyle & consumer goods, and health & science.

Read more here

Consumer privacy must be priority

Nearly every day we hear of more major cases of identity theft, financial crime and other forms of attacks or malicious interference on the internet. Breaches become commonplace and lax standards leave consumers worried about how their information is safeguarded.

The colossal breaches at British Airways and Marriott and Starwood in 2018 compromised the private data of hundreds of millions customers, and dozens more cases have surfaced since.

Such incidents are evidence that consumer data security, and also consumer privacy, are not being taken seriously. The adoption of Internet of Things solutions and the highly anticipated rollout of very fast 5G networks will make consumers’ privacy even more vulnerable in the next few years.

President Trump’s executive order to prevent companies from buying hardware and software from telecommunications firms deemed a national security risk is at least one good step in protecting privacy, but it’s sad to see it had to come to that.

Trump is likely influenced by statements of FCC chairman Ajit Pai, who has warned against using telecom equipment vendors from China on the basis of both national security and concerns for privacy.

In one case last fall, it was reported that Chinese officials put immense pressure on specific private firms to include so-called backdoors in their software or devices, which may be exploited either by government agents alone or with a manufacturer’s help. That only provokes more questions as to the influence of the Chinese Community Party on the Chinese firms that sell abroad.

With that in mind, for the ordinary consumer looking to buy their next smartphone, laptop or WiFi router, how can they rest assured their privacy will be secured?

As a response to threats like this, Australia banned the Chinese network equipment manufacturer Huawei from its 5G network. The United States has effectively done the same. But blanket bans aren’t a silver bullet solution for safeguarding privacy and data security. A mix of solutions is needed.

What we need is a smart policy response that would induce companies to give sufficient weight to consumer data security, all the while achieving that goal without undue market distortions, wholesale bans of certain firms and the limiting of consumer choice.

Healthy competition between private enterprises is the best mechanism for the discovery of the right tools and applications for new tech gear. Keeping new regulation technology-neutral, and thus not deciding by law which technological solution is best, is a very good framework for consumer privacy.

The rules should be focused on outcomes and be as general as possible while still providing sufficient guidance. That means not just the biggest companies who can afford to comply will also have a chance.

At the same time, some kind of certification scheme, or even open source standard,  should be adopted to minimize the risk of any backdoors or other vulnerabilities. That said, perfect security cannot be guaranteed. But ensuring companies use encryption and secure methods of authentication should be on the table.

Ideally, there would also be more supply chain liability for telecommunications operators and infrastructure wholesalers. This would push companies to take consumer privacy and security more into account when making procurement decisions.

Outright bans motivated by security concerns have the same effects as trade restrictions in the context of a trade war. The first victim of any trade war are the consumers of the nation imposing tariffs and non-tariff barriers to trade. Unless there is no other workable solution and unless the evidence of a serious security risk is clear, we shouldn’t resort to bans.

The debate around 5G reminds us how vulnerable consumers are in a technologically and politically complex world.

Therefore, smart regulation is needed in order to protect consumers from data breaches and to prevent autocratic governments from spying on them.

By strengthening liability of companies for technological vulnerabilities and by creating good standards, both consumer choice and privacy can be ensured.

Blunt instruments like total bans based on country of origin or regulators picking the technological champions should be seen as measures of the last resort.

Read more here

Consumer privacy must be priority

Nearly every day we hear of more major cases of identity theft, financial crime and other forms of attacks or malicious interference on the internet. Breaches become commonplace and lax standards leave consumers worried about how their information is safeguarded.

The colossal breaches at British Airways and Marriott and Starwood in 2018 compromised the private data of hundreds of millions customers, and dozens more cases have surfaced since.

Such incidents are evidence that consumer data security, and also consumer privacy, are not being taken seriously. The adoption of Internet of Things solutions and the highly anticipated rollout of very fast 5G networks will make consumers’ privacy even more vulnerable in the next few years.

President Trump’s executive order to prevent companies from buying hardware and software from telecommunications firms deemed a national security risk is at least one good step in protecting privacy, but it’s sad to see it had to come to that.

Trump is likely influenced by statements of FCC chairman Ajit Pai, who has warned against using telecom equipment vendors from China on the basis of both national security and concerns for privacy.

In one case last fall, it was reported that Chinese officials put immense pressure on specific private firms to include so-called backdoors in their software or devices, which may be exploited either by government agents alone or with a manufacturer’s help. That only provokes more questions as to the influence of the Chinese Community Party on the Chinese firms that sell abroad.

With that in mind, for the ordinary consumer looking to buy their next smartphone, laptop or WiFi router, how can they rest assured their privacy will be secured?

As a response to threats like this, Australia banned the Chinese network equipment manufacturer Huawei from its 5G network. The United States has effectively done the same. But blanket bans aren’t a silver bullet solution for safeguarding privacy and data security. A mix of solutions is needed.

What we need is a smart policy response that would induce companies to give sufficient weight to consumer data security, all the while achieving that goal without undue market distortions, wholesale bans of certain firms and the limiting of consumer choice.

Healthy competition between private enterprises is the best mechanism for the discovery of the right tools and applications for new tech gear. Keeping new regulation technology-neutral, and thus not deciding by law which technological solution is best, is a very good framework for consumer privacy.

The rules should be focused on outcomes and be as general as possible while still providing sufficient guidance. That means not just the biggest companies who can afford to comply will also have a chance.

At the same time, some kind of certification scheme, or even open source standard,  should be adopted to minimize the risk of any backdoors or other vulnerabilities. That said, perfect security cannot be guaranteed. But ensuring companies use encryption and secure methods of authentication should be on the table.

Ideally, there would also be more supply chain liability for telecommunications operators and infrastructure wholesalers. This would push companies to take consumer privacy and security more into account when making procurement decisions.

Outright bans motivated by security concerns have the same effects as trade restrictions in the context of a trade war. The first victim of any trade war are the consumers of the nation imposing tariffs and non-tariff barriers to trade. Unless there is no other workable solution and unless the evidence of a serious security risk is clear, we shouldn’t resort to bans.

The debate around 5G reminds us how vulnerable consumers are in a technologically and politically complex world.

Therefore, smart regulation is needed in order to protect consumers from data breaches and to prevent autocratic governments from spying on them.

By strengthening liability of companies for technological vulnerabilities and by creating good standards, both consumer choice and privacy can be ensured.

Blunt instruments like total bans based on country of origin or regulators picking the technological champions should be seen as measures of the last resort.

Read more here

We Must Make Consumer Privacy a Priority

Nearly every day we hear of more major cases of identity theft, financial crime and other forms of attacks or malicious interference on the internet. Breaches become commonplace and lax standards leave consumers worried about how their information is safeguarded.

The colossal breaches at British Airways and Marriott and Starwood in 2018 compromised the private data of hundreds of millions customers, and dozens more cases have surfaced since.

Such incidents are evidence that consumer data security, and also consumer privacy, are not being taken seriously. The adoption of Internet of Things solutions and the highly anticipated rollout of very fast 5G networks will make consumers’ privacy even more vulnerable in the next few years.

President Trump’s executive order to prevent companies from buying hardware and software from telecommunications firms deemed a national security risk is at least one good step in protecting privacy, but it’s sad to see it had to come to that.

Trump is likely influenced by statements of FCC chairman Ajit Pai, who has warned against using telecom equipment vendors from China on the basis of both national security and concerns for privacy.

In one case last fall, it was reported that Chinese officials put immense pressure on specific private firms to include so-called backdoors in their software or devices, which may be exploited either by government agents alone or with a manufacturer’s help. That only provokes more questions as to the influence of the Chinese Community Party on the Chinese firms that sell abroad.

With that in mind, for the ordinary consumer looking to buy their next smartphone, laptop or WiFi router, how can they rest assured their privacy will be secured?

As a response to threats like this, Australia banned the Chinese network equipment manufacturer Huawei from its 5G network. The United States has effectively done the same. But blanket bans aren’t a silver bullet solution for safeguarding privacy and data security. A mix of solutions is needed.

What we need is a smart policy response that would induce companies to give sufficient weight to consumer data security, all the while achieving that goal without undue market distortions, wholesale bans of certain firms and the limiting of consumer choice.

Healthy competition between private enterprises is the best mechanism for the discovery of the right tools and applications for new tech gear. Keeping new regulation technology-neutral, and thus not deciding by law which technological solution is best, is a very good framework for consumer privacy.

The rules should be focused on outcomes and be as general as possible while still providing sufficient guidance. That means not just the biggest companies who can afford to comply will also have a chance.

At the same time, some kind of certification scheme, or even open source standard,  should be adopted to minimize the risk of any backdoors or other vulnerabilities. That said, perfect security cannot be guaranteed. But ensuring companies use encryption and secure methods of authentication should be on the table.

Ideally, there would also be more supply chain liability for telecommunications operators and infrastructure wholesalers. This would push companies to take consumer privacy and security more into account when making procurement decisions.

Outright bans motivated by security concerns have the same effects as trade restrictions in the context of a trade war. The first victim of any trade war are the consumers of the nation imposing tariffs and non-tariff barriers to trade. Unless there is no other workable solution and unless the evidence of a serious security risk is clear, we shouldn’t resort to bans.

The debate around 5G reminds us how vulnerable consumers are in a technologically and politically complex world.

Therefore, smart regulation is needed in order to protect consumers from data breaches and to prevent autocratic governments from spying on them.

By strengthening liability of companies for technological vulnerabilities and by creating good standards, both consumer choice and privacy can be ensured.

Blunt instruments like total bans based on country of origin or regulators picking the technological champions should be seen as measures of the last resort.

Read more here

Google & US chipmakers pull the plug on Huawei’s Android phones after Trump blacklist

“Outright bans by country of origin should only be the last resort for policy makers. Bans risk getting the global economy deeper into costly trade wars,” said Fred Roeder, managing director of the Consumer Choice Center.

The non-governmental organisation campaigns against restricting consumer choices by prohibitive laws and protectionist measures among others.

“Closed systems have a much higher likelihood of hiding vulnerabilities. Hence more open systems and open source approaches can really help consumers, and governments, trust the security promises of 5G providers,” he added.

Read more here

Google cuts off Huawei from Android ecosystem

Fred Roeder, managing director of the Consumer Choice Centre, a consumer activism group based in Arlington, Virginia, said that outright bans on technology equipment based on country of origin should only be a last resort for governments, and suggested open source might actually be a good route forward. “Bans risk getting the global economy deeper into costly trade wars. Consumers benefit from competition and the fast rollout of new technologies such as 5G networks,” he said.

“At the same time, we are worried about vulnerabilities and potential backdoors in equipment and software. Closed systems have a much higher likelihood of hiding vulnerabilities. Hence more open systems and open source approaches can really help consumers, and governments, trust the security promises of 5G providers,” added Roeder.

Read more here

5G and #Huawei – Trade wars can be prevented by using Open Source

While US President Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday afternoon (15 May) effectively banning the use of Huawei’s products in 5G networks in the United States, the Consumer Choice Center (CCC) hopes for an alternative solution to improve consumer privacy in Europe.

Consumer Choice Center Managing Director Fred Roeder stressed that more openness and transparency of telephone and radio networks could lead to more trust in the soft- and hardware of infrastructure providers: “Outright bans by country of origin should only be the last resort for policy makers. Bans risk getting the global economy deeper into costly trade wars. Consumers benefit from competition and the fast rollout of new technologies such as 5G networks. At the same time, we are worried about vulnerabilities and potential backdoors in equipment and software. Closed systems have a much higher likelihood of hiding vulnerabilities. Hence more open systems and open source approaches can really help consumers, and governments, trust the security promises of 5G providers,” said Roeder.

“Private efforts such as the Open Radio Access Network Alliance show that open source systems are an option for telecommunication infrastructure. It would be a win-win situation for consumers and industry if more companies would embrace open standards. An open source approach in telecommunications could revolutionize market access and rollout pace of new standards in the era of 5G, in the same way as blockchain does in the financial services and payment industry. Manufacturers that commit to open source systems show that they don’t have any vulnerabilities to hide, and at the same time have a compelling case not to be excluded on the basis of their country of origin,” he added.

The Consumer Choice Center published a policy note on Consumer Privacy in the Age of 5G that can be found here.

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more here.

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