February 24, 2018
Washington is cranking up pressure on Huawei Technologies Co., the Chinese telecommunications-equipment maker that U.S. officials view as a potential tool for state-sponsored spying.
US, Britain in cybersecurity divide over Chinese tech firm Huawei
But across the Atlantic, one of America’s closest allies has taken a different approach. British Prime Minister Theresa May met Huawei Chairwoman Sun Yafang in Beijing earlier this month. Days later, Huawei announced it would invest £3 billion ($4.2 billion) in the U.K. over the next five years.
Britain’s embrace of Huawei is widening a gulf between the U.S. and several important allies over American allegations the company poses a cybersecurity threat. Some Washington lawmakers have recently expressed worry that Huawei’s inroads in countries with close security ties to the U.S. could make their telecommunications networks more vulnerable to Beijing snooping.
A 2012 U.S. congressional report labeled Huawei a national-security threat, saying its equipment could allow China to spy or disable telecommunications networks. Smaller U.S. carriers use Huawei gear, but the report made it politically difficult for bigger ones, such asAT&T Inc., to do so.
Almost everywhere outside the U.S., Huawei has become a colossus. It is the world’s third-largest smartphone company, after Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple Inc. And it has leapfrogged Ericsson and Nokia Corp. to become the world’s largest maker of telecom equipment—things like switches, routers and cellular-tower gear.
As wireless carriers around the world prepare to upgrade to a faster generation of network technology called 5G, Huawei has emerged as one of the industry’s biggest players.
The broad concern in Washington is that Beijing could force Huawei to use its knowledge of its own hardware’s design to spy on Americans or cripple communications. Some intelligence officials also fear Huawei’s equipment might have security vulnerabilities that could be exploited to remotely control or disable the gear.
“We’re deeply concerned about the risks of allowing any company or entity that is beholden to foreign governments that don’t share our values to gain positions of power inside our telecommunications networks,” said Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray, at a Senate committee hearing earlier this month. Lawmakers in the House and Senate have introduced separate bills to bar the U.S. government and its contractors from using Huawei gear.
A Huawei spokesman said the company is employee-owned and no government has ever asked it to spy on another country. The company said it poses no greater cybersecurity risk than other vendors, since the telecom-equipment industry shares global supply chains and production capabilities.
“Huawei is aware of a range of U.S. government activities seemingly aimed at inhibiting Huawei’s business in the U.S. market,” the company said in a statement. “Huawei is trusted by governments and customers in 170 countries worldwide.”
That is what worries some in Washington. Of particular concern is Huawei’s major presence in countries in the “Five Eyes” intelligence-sharing partnership with the U.S. Governments of Britain, Canada and Australia allow major phone carriers in their respective countries to use Huawei equipment but give special scrutiny to Huawei gear. New Zealand, where Huawei gear is also used widely, is the fifth coalition member.
Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D., Md.), co-author of the 2012 report, and Rep. Mike Conaway (R., Texas), who introduced the House bill, both cite use of Huawei equipment by Five Eyes allies as a U.S. national-security vulnerability.
“Our partners’ willingness to jeopardize their systems in terms of infiltration puts at risk the information we share and the coordinated actions that might be developed,” said Michael Wessel, a member of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. The body reports to Congress on the national-security implications of the trade and economic relationship between the two countries.
US, Britain in cybersecurity divide over Chinese tech firm Huawei
Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre, an intelligence-agency division, said telecom systems related to U.K. national security are managed differently than carrier-operated networks the general public uses. In a statement on behalf of the British government, the NCSC called Huawei “a globally important company.” It said the “government and British telecoms operators work with Huawei at home and abroad to ensure the U.K. can continue to benefit from new technology while managing cyber security risks.”
The U.K. was the first major European market to welcome Huawei’s telecommunications equipment. In 2005, Huawei landed a big contract to supply BT Group PLC with telephone switches and other infrastructure.
British intelligence officials at the time expressed reservations to BT about using Huawei equipment but lacked the authority to stop a private company from doing so, a person familiar with the matter said. A BT spokeswoman declined to comment.
Today, two of the country’s biggest phone carriers, BT and Vodafone Group PLC, use Huawei equipment. Huawei last year opened a joint lab with the University of Edinburgh to research data management and processing.
Huawei has roughly 1,500 employees in the U.K. It has recruited British business and government luminaries, such as John Browne, former CEO of oil giant BP PLC, to populate the board of its U.K. business.
In 2009, British intelligence chiefs warned lawmakers that China could use Huawei to remotely disrupt or disable a telecommunications network. To ease concerns, Huawei the next year opened a testing lab in Banbury, England, near Oxford.
There, about 30 people with U.K. security clearances disassemble Huawei equipment and evaluate hardware and software for security vulnerabilities. Huawei funds and operates the lab, and the staff are Huawei employees. Overseeing the operation is a board composed of mostly senior British intelligence and government officials, as well as three Huawei representatives.
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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