News you may have missed #805 (analysis edition)

US consulate in Benghazi, LibyaBy IAN ALLEN | |
►►Should the US be wary of Huawei? Regular readers of intelNews know that this blog has been covering the subject of Chinese telecommunications hardware manufacturer Huawei for several years now. During the past few weeks, the United States Congress has flagged the company as being too closely associated with the Chinese intelligence establishment. Other countries have done so as well. But not everyone agrees. New York-based newspaper The Wall Street Journal said recently that “bashing Chinese companies on national security grounds seems like a risk-free strategy” for US politicians and added that, unlike Congress, American governors and mayors are eager to promote investment by Chinese companies. Moreover, Wired‘s Marcus Wohlsenemail suggests that, spies or no spies, US telecommunications companies should fear Huwaei, which is here to stay.
►►Should CIA share some of the blame for Benghazi? For the last month, the US media and Congress have been grilling the State Department for the security failures during the deadly assault on a US compound in Benghazi, Libya. But what if the State Department is the wrong target of scrutiny? According to a counter-theory advanced recently by The Washington Post‘s Dana Milbank, the CIA, not the State Department, bears some responsibility for the security lapse that led to the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, but is flying under the radar due to the classified nature of its activities in Libya.
►►Could unmanned drones go rogue? Unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly known as drones, have been in the news a lot lately: the US Congress has given the green light for their use by state and local law enforcement, academic researchers, and the private sector. UAVs are rapidly becoming a new tool in patrolling US borders and in NATO military operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan. But non-state actors, including organized criminal gangs and drug cartels, may also be seeing the benefits of UAVs before too long. Read an interesting analysis piece that includes comments by intelNews‘ own Joseph Fitsanakis.

2 Responses to News you may have missed #805 (analysis edition)

  1. Story 1. US telecommunications companies should suspect:

    – any foreign supplier of telecommunications/computer hardware or software having foreign sigint-military connections,

    – scratch any foreign or US supplier or service provider and you’ll find ex-military electronic specialists who used to be in signals corps (read signals intelligence) – (who retired to private industry operations or management) which is the main accusation against Huawei’s personnel

    – or significant foreign ownership of US telco hardware or software or

    – portions of US communications/calls/texts travelling through international links outside US control – which happens to almost anything on the Internet all of the time.

    Noting the US and almost all other countries meet at the ITU and other forums to standardize intel/security backdoors to monitor exploit telco/computer software and hardware worldwide.

    And Huawei like all suppliers would be required by these countries and the ITU to comply with these backdoor requirements – including on one’s national territory.

    So where this is going is that freeze-framing Huawei is a political and economic act by the US with the US forcing its allies to conform to the anti-Huawei discrimintation regime.

    Oddly the US Government has not decided to point a finger at a huge AV company HQ’d in Moscow operating personal and corporate AV services (eg. for defense companies) all over the US…

    Given the above the Western campaign against Huawei is more about creating a non-tariff barrier to Chinese competition than about security considerations.

  2. Story Two:

    All this blame avoidance is political time waster. Both State and CIA should be working to devise ways NOT to make Libya another Iraq or Afghanistan.

    Although it should be understood that there are countervailing interests. The US military is a portion of the US foreign policy apparatus that justifies its existence by being in action overseas. No other country can compete with America’s custom made military tool. Hence creating a large war zone in Libya may be a new broader US Government policy choice.

    Once either side wins the Presidential elections the war zone will escalate in Libya and adjacent countries of Sahel Africa.

    The oil value of this region to other NATO countries will ensure – is assuring their participation in this necessary new theatre of war.

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