The Cyber curtain coming down across the world

Mr Trump’s policy of banning Huawei and drawing attention to possible security issues with Chinese technology products and services may create a digital divide in the world. China claims to be the advocate of a more open approach, wanting access to western technology as imports, and seeking to sell her product into complex western systems. The President points out that any Chinese company can act as an agent of the Chinese state.

When I last wrote about this a majority of comments took the view that Mr Trump was right and the UK should back the USA up over the issue of Huawei access to western networks and systems. There is the question of limited western access to Chinese technology markets, and the way China enforces her own censorship and disciplines on the use of the internet in China to consider as well.

It looks as if both the USA and China, for different reasons, will conclude there has to be two different systems in the world, a Chinese one and a US one. China will want to block access to western material on domestic phones and computers, and the west will want secure channels and systems for its own security – as doubtless so will China.

There is a already a protective cloak around Chinese internet use. As this dispute develops we will see a more obvious cyber curtain come down between east and west. Countries within the Sino-Russian orbit may gravitate to Chinese systems, whilst all the countries in the US orbit will be on a US standard. The digital divide will be made of electronic firewalls,and extended by a refusal to connect each others components and equipment for fear of contagion.

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65 Comments

  1. Ian wragg
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 5:06 am | Permalink

    The Chinese can’t be trusted. We will have the equivalent of the cold war only in cyber terms.
    The West must protect itself.

  2. Pominoz
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 5:09 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    Which is why Huawei should not be part of 5G.

    P.S. Wouldn’t it be nice if, for the first time in history, the last day of May fell on the 24th?

  3. Mark B
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 5:12 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    It is important to remember that, with China we are not dealing with a Liberal Democracy but a Communist dictatorship with global ambitions. To that end we can afford to be suspicious.

    Whilst we are on the subject of internet censorship and control, we might want to look at what our so called government is up to. It is not only the Chinese who want to keep their people ignorant to what is going on.

    Ever since the creation of radio and other mass media the government have been fearful and has, and will continue, to try to control what we see, read and hear. That is not freedom.

  4. javelin
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 5:12 am | Permalink

    Nunes, the senior ranking member of the intelligence committee, asked Trump to ask May this question on Tuesday.

    “Is the British Government aware of, did it give permission for, or did it participate in, activities by any government to surveil or otherwise target active or former associates of the Trump campaign, if any such activities or surveillance took place? “

    Trump published this at 5AM British time.

    “The Attorney General has also been delegated full and complete authority to declassify information pertaining to this investigation, in accordance with the long-established standards for handling classified information. Today’s action will help ensure that all Americans learn the truth about the events that occurred, and the actions that were taken, during the last Presidential election and will restore confidence in our public institutions.”

    What’s interesting is this happened at 1:21 AM (US time).

    This release was done after a late night planning session. Trump is watching the UK because of his visit in a couple of weeks. He will of seen the news that May intends to stay on.

    Many people are puzzled about May’s actions. If you understand that this is all part of a plan to defeat globalism you can see the cause and effect on an hour by hour basis

  5. The Prangwizard
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    And Mrs May has decided the UK will be in the Chinese/Russian block, being such a hater of President Trump and American beliefs.

  6. agricola
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    Only the technology has changed. Spying on other countries communications has been the norm since WW1. Standard Telephone & Cables lines were taped in WW1, Bletchley Park did it to radio signals inWW2, US submarines taped Russian marine cables and Berlin military cables during the Cold War. Not to mention flights by both sides to stir up radio traffic. Then of course there was U2 and satellites. These are the admissions in the public domain.

    Firewalling the Internet and blocking technology exports may well be thought a necessity to safguard our security and intellectual property.

    Here is an arguement for spying, for that is what all the above is, that is worthy of debate. It is only by understanding the potential within a designated enemy that the more belligerent led nations are deterred from kicking off armed conflict. It has given birth to terrorism, a pinprick form of conflict that has a degree of effect minus catastrophic destruction. Cyber intrusion and conflict are just a branch of terrorism. I therefore have sympathy with the view of Donald Trump, but it can only be a short term measure in the confict of technologies until someone invents the figurative next bow and arrow. It was always thus.

  7. Dominic
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    The Chinese government cannot and should not be trusted. A one-man party state. Its own people oppressed, monitored and threatened. No democracy. No opposition. No freedom of speech.

    Even when abroad Chinese citizens are exposed to monitoring. And when they go back to China they are exposed to a process of ‘re-education’ and rigorous process of de-Westernisation

    The UK should be standing full square with Trump.

    And no doubt every single UK political figure will be monitored by the Chinese authorities for comments that are deemed anti-Chinese.

    The internet as a tool has opened up a world of freedom but also afforded vile governments a world of oppression

    I would genuinely rather starve than be beholden in anyway to the Chinese State

    We need to invite more Chinese families to our shores but protect them from their own government

  8. agricola
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    I now hear via Sky News that Labour wants Climate Change to be part of the National Curriculum (NC). On the face of it why not, providing it is taught with due vigillance and scrutiny. It is a subject largely in the hands of thd ignorant and politically motivated at present. The thought that such as the Green Party could get a grip on the NC is intellectually too appalling to contemplate. You may as well hand the system of global navigation to flat earthers.

    • agricola
      Posted May 24, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      Lets assume that all the environment obscenities are removed from our earth in due course. Are the NHS prepared for all the mental health problems of the climate change lobby when it dawns on them that it is perhaps the Sun that drives climate.

    • oldtimer
      Posted May 24, 2019 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

      I thought it already was, de facto if not de jute, since the Climate Change Act if not before then.

  9. jerry
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    What concerns me is why Chinese State is so determined to intimidate western countries into accepting Huawei 5G involvement, it seems to go beyond what is normal State support when it comes to international trade. Only yesterday it was being reported that a Chinese diplomat has suggested ‘substantial’ repercussions should the UK do not allow Huawei involvement in the UK 5G network – have they (ever) made similar threats over other infrastructure projects, such as HS2?…

  10. Alan Jutson
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    Surely the logical solution to all of this will eventually lead to equipment being made separately within each sphere of operation, out of fear of dodgy system components.

    Then firewalls will likely be rather more successful than relying on manufacture and component parts from the opposition.

    I have no doubt that all governments when a new embassy is being built thoughourly inspect all materials used in its construction, and vet and search all workers on site to ensure security.

    Certainly many large computer organisations already do that with their own building construction, in order to protect product and system knowledge from the opposition.

  11. Alex
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    Meanwhile our own government continues to attempt to control access to websites and criminalise free speech whilst ignoring violent cime. Yes there is certainly a cyber cloak coming down as we speed towards the soviet model.

    • agricola
      Posted May 24, 2019 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      Living in Europe and visiting, the PC nonesense stand out like the proverbial. PC is to free speech what prohibition was to alchohol. Social media is now the new speakeasy.

  12. oldtimer
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    This is an interesting point. What will matter to many businesses will be the depth of the divide. That is the level in the supply chain at which barriers are raised. There are rumours that China will ban/control rare earth exports. Computer chips are an obvious category to control. But what about the advanced wafers needed for 5G chips or the machines which etch them? What about other emerging capabilities which are now enabled by CMOS++ technologies? This could have dramatic implications for affected businesses.

    • oldtimer
      Posted May 24, 2019 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      One company, the AIM listed IQE, today published a RNS on this subject on the LSE web site. IQE designs, manufactures and markets epitaxial wafers to multiple chip companies and OEMs affected by the US governments ban on sales to Huawei and its affiliates on the US Entity List. It said it expects the maximum impact to be “less than 5% of total FY 2019 revenue”. This, it said, will affect its Wireless Business Unit; Photonics and Infrared sales were not affected.

  13. formula57
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    Your Fulton, Missouri post!

    Let us recall Huawei was not a matter of urgent national security before the trade talks collapsed and now Mr. Trump is reported as saying “If we made a deal, I could imagine Huawei being possibly included in some form or some part of it”.

    Any company can act as an agent for a foreign power, even and maybe especially US ones.

  14. Everhopeful
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    The West won’t have an Internet worth using. It ha#already been ruined.
    At first the Internet was a joyous explosion of knowledge, views and exceptional goods for sale.
    Gradually these benefits have been eradicated by change in search engines ( which allow only the “ big boys” to rank highly often putting small concerns out of business).
    All the multinational companies apparently believe in “ diversity” but not in “ diversity” of goods.
    The EU ( UN too?) and present PM have also done their worst with gagging acts making the Internet largely …well…over.

  15. Dominic Johnson
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    Don’t forget EUrope has its own legal walls, although it lacks the capacity for specific hardware and software at the moment.

  16. Everhopeful
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    Internet very like the railways.
    Beeching decimated them. Never need trains again!
    Thatcher decided we all had to relocate and drive miles to work.
    Choked roads. Not enough track.
    Now high streets and shops closed. Internet shopping!!
    How will our choked roads deliver all those goods?
    What percentage of traffic (impeding those who keep the show on the road with their taxes) is already made up of white vans delivering previously shop bought necessities??
    Drones maybe? Look at chaos caused by just one at airport!
    Govts NEVER look ahead!

    • Shirley
      Posted May 25, 2019 at 5:13 am | Permalink

      Surely it is better to have one van making 100 deliveries than 100 cars each collecting one item? Do you think it possible to take all your purchased items on the bus or train?

  17. Adam
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    Telecopiers, the original form of fax machines, did not enable owners of different brands to communicate with each other. Betamax, Philips’ Video Disc & VHS went through similar conflicts until a universal solution succeeded.

    The vested interests of USA & China exhibit some parallels to those. Ultimately need, practicability & consumer demand will force & sort out a victor in solution, which itself in turn will become superseded by something more advanced.

    Demand for finding info & sharing it is relentless.

  18. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    May and her government are so confused that they seem to be entering the Chinese orbit here, but then glad-handing Trump. Confused and stupid.

    We must NEVER go through such a period again. We need a backstop – a backstop to ensure nobody can act like May and tinker with our democracy, Parliament and constitution ever again. Let’s celebrate the arrival of the Brexit party this weekend, but insist that there is some constitutional backstop, perhaps “May’s Law” so that Parliament can rid itself more quickly should these circumstances ever arise again.

  19. Iain Gill
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    its a bit more complicated than that

    i will try to write up why if I get the time

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted May 24, 2019 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

      Iain Gill

      Send some bullet points please. I am sure most here will get the gist of your “bit more complicated than that” Thanks

  20. Mike Stallard
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Allow me to extend this.
    I have seen two u tube videos taken down recently. One of them was a scholarly video of an American Missionary examining the earliest days of Islam and the other was Tommy Robinson laughing and joking with some protesters. Neither, as far as I know, contained obscene language or incitements to violence.
    I understand too that there was a very nasty disagreement over Huawei in the Cabinet involving a civil servant. That was quickly forgotten. And if that is how vitally important decisions are taken, I am very worried.
    I remember reading that there is a Commissioner in the EU who is very anxious to control the internet. In our Church, as a result, the Prayer List was removed from the Newsletter because it contained personal information.
    None of this has been fully reported so if it is wrong, please moderate it all out. And thank yo, Sir John, for putting your finger on a very important ans little discussed subject.

  21. Caterpillar
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    The Chinese elite and President Xi are error free and above the population, fortunately the UK and some parts of Europe are fighting back against such technocratic rule by the elites. Some may argue that to maintain consultative democracy that this kind of error free leadership is needed, even if it means banning Winnie the Pooh. China rolled out the tanks to make it clear it wasn’t changing its approach to government. During the three decades since the protests the ‘West’ has continued to believe that with economic progress comes representative democracy (though the elites of the EU seem to look on longingly at China’s system) and so the ‘West’ has opened up markets but only had limited access in return – but if it can be reverse engineered then it is taken. The ‘West’ has welcomed post grad students, researchers, academics who have returned to China with captured knowledge and skills. The ‘West’ has invested in China, but usually limited by partnerships and leakage of technology knowhow. And so (east/coastal) China has caught up and in many areas overtaken. The POTUS sees the issue, the EU refuses to support. The UK has lost many of its previous competencies and with it lost a previously justifiable self-confidence. To navigate the future world the UK needs to learn from it…as China did.

  22. Kevin
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    This may not be the cyber curtain that the average Western Internet user has
    observed descending. For example, I have never tried to search for content
    made by a “Chinese dissident”. The buzzwords that I come across are “de-
    monetisation” and “deplatforming”. These are complaints by Western users. If
    you could look into this murky world it might help clarify the subject.

  23. Caterpillar
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Around the topic – has Japan progressed in mining the sea-bed rate earth metals or is China maintain control of the supply? (The world has seen the situation of responses supply with oil, worrying to.see it again).

  24. Al
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    “There is a already a protective cloak around Chinese internet use.”

    With Mrs May’s restrictive internet policies – which incidentally violates PCI DSS (as companies are not supposed to use Credit Card details for age checks/ID), the effect of GDPR resulting in blocked US sites, and her “national firewall” leading to concerns that other websites will be blocked as relying on the government of the day to define ‘undesirable’ is unwise – I think she regards the Chinese internet model as something to emulate and admire, not be concerned about.

  25. JimS
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Regardless of who makes the hardware there is surely a conflict between those software producers that want to create ever more connections and the need for security. It might be ‘useful’ that your mobile phone can ‘speak’ to your fridge but then who else can join in the ‘conversation’?

    I worry about the concept of ‘the internet of things’, we are told that it can make systems ‘smart’ and bring about ‘efficiencies’. The trouble is that efficient systems have no slack, they don’t degrade when overloaded, they collapse. The idea seems to me like Communism Mark II; centralised planning is something that has appeal to the young, cut out the duplication and all that waste. Cut out the choice. Connecting everything together generates ‘big data’, we now know everything and want to control everything. (I was told by a designer of railway infrastructure that they maybe could tell passengers to walk faster or slower so as to avoid congestion at the platform).

    It is bad enough having all these people wanting to do what is ‘best’ for us without adding all those ‘bad actors’ out there into the mix.

  26. Lifelogic
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Indeed, this is unfortunate but it is quite likely to develop in this way.

    Meanwhile Labour would make “climate change core part of school curriculum”.

    Most schools struggle to find and retain decent physics and maths teachers already. Half the people (even the ones going on to university get 3Ds or lower at A LEVEL). Yet they want to indoctrinate young children in “renewables” and climate alarmism before they even understand basic maths or physics. Once they understand the latter properly they will tend to see through the absurd exaggerations anyway.

    What next compulsory lessons in enforced equality, the huge benefits of the government wasting most of the money you earn, diversity and how to be a social justice warrior, the (non existent beyond the choices people make) gender pay gap, the wonders of Corbyn & Mc Donnall’s magic money tree economics, why you should always vote Labour ….

    “Give me a child until he is 7 and I will indoctrinate him in climate alarmism.” As Aristotle might have said.

  27. Roy Grainger
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    I have never seen it explained what the basis of May’s “hard-headed” decision to use Huawei was based on ? Were they than much cheaper than any other option ?

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted May 24, 2019 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

      The Chinese buy into markets.

      I am sure Huawei would have put a very attractive proposal together….have you not heard of a loss-leader strategy?

  28. A.Sedgwick
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    It is coming down across the BBC, just tried to watch a highlight of QT, Iplayer says I am not in the UK with the usual guff of how to correct, which is beyond my patience and interest.
    BBC is another May – time to get rid.

    • jerry
      Posted May 24, 2019 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      @A.Sedgwick: The BBC can not be blamed that you choose or use (perhaps due to a work provided internet access [1]) an ISP who use non UK allocated IP numbers, those in the USA but using (say) UK allocated IP number blocks will have difficulty accessing some US sites.

      The BBC has many faults but non UK IP number are not their problem!

      [1] or indeed some anonymising VPNs

  29. libertarian
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Once again politicians destroy advancement and all the good that could be done.

    We would have a much better world without politicians

    • jerry
      Posted May 24, 2019 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      @libertarian; A very “CND” type of logic considering the issue is national security.

      • bigneil
        Posted May 24, 2019 at 10:08 am | Permalink

        jerry – we don’t have anything in the way of national security. Boats arrive from France with the occupants ferried here for free once our Border Force or coastguard have been called. Documents destroyed, then released after giving any name and story, they then vanish into their “community” ( so much for integration ) where they live to further THEIR ways, THEIR rules, THEIR laws (in what WAS our country) – while living on our taxes.

      • Peter Parsons
        Posted May 24, 2019 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

        It’s been calculated that 5G is worth $500 billion to the US economy and 3 million jobs, but the problem for the US is that the Chinese can do it cheaper and are doing it better.

        Is it really security or just another example of protectionist behaviour?

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted May 24, 2019 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

        jerry

        Politicians don’t provide security…subject matter experts do…Politicians just rubber stamp thingys….a bit like the EU dictums!

        All I ever get from Politicians is “are we done then, lunch anybody?”..and I kid you not!

      • libertarian
        Posted May 24, 2019 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

        Jerry

        Please list the politicians who provide national security… many thanks

        • jerry
          Posted May 24, 2019 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

          libertarian

          Please list the politicians who provide 4G (never mind any future 5G) mobile phone coverage… many thanks

          • libertarian
            Posted May 24, 2019 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

            Jerry

            Reiterating my point nicely thanks. My point was that politicians dont do anything useful which of course includes 4g/ 5g

            You really are quite dim sometimes in your haste to argue you forget what the thread is about

          • jerry
            Posted May 24, 2019 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

            @libertarian; “You really are quite dim sometimes in your haste to argue you forget what the thread is about”

            Talk about the greasy pot trying to call the kettle a little dusty again. You don’t own/use/supply Huawei equipment by any chance Walter?…

          • libertarian
            Posted May 25, 2019 at 8:29 am | Permalink

            Jerry

            Oh my word , you really can’t read a simple thread can you.

            I have NO WHERE supported Huawei What i said but you fail miserably to understand is

            Politicians are not good at ANYTHING and they certainly are even more appalling at interfering in digital tech. I have NOT said that Huawei should be allowed to participate and if you really applied some thinking I’m also criticising the Chinese Government for interfering in technology

            ONCE AGAIN IN BIG LETTERS

            Politics is making a mess of technology

            Try reading and understanding what I put and NOT assuming you know what I think

  30. Gordon Pugh
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    This is my field. I understand this. There are three key players here – the US, China, the EU. I can assure you that the views of the UK, expressed on its own rather than through the EU, are of no consequence or interest to anyone.

    • ukretired123
      Posted May 24, 2019 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      You are mistaken.
      Arm Holdings UK employees the world’s leading chip designer for all major mobile phone brands in the last 20 years have been told they cannot talk to Huawei on any technical matters.
      Arm Holdings was sold to foreigners without any government scrutiny and Philip May ‘s company benefited by millions.
      The UK along with USA and 5 eyes Canada, NZ and Oz are preeminent not the EU whilst Russia and China are significant foes.

    • BillM
      Posted May 24, 2019 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

      So GCHQ, MI5 , SIS and the Five Eyes Network are irrelevant?

      • Norma
        Posted May 24, 2019 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

        Five Eyes Network? That is simply the USA (plus other small countries doing exactly what the USA instructs them to do). Didnt you read wikileaks?

        • BillM
          Posted May 25, 2019 at 11:29 am | Permalink

          Oh dear. Unfortunately, with wikileaks it was difficult to separate fact from fiction and do you think that our Intelligent Service are subservient to the USA? Or have you not read the reports about the bent goings on in the FBI and the CIA under Obama? We are right to be standing on our own!
          No we will always work with the Americans and the rest of our NATO friends but we will never kow tow to them – we learned not to do that after Blair’s wretched mismanagement. I have no doubt that the other members of the Five Eyes, Canada Australian and NZ take offence at being called “Small countries” and under the rule of the USA. Unlike China they are all democracies which is a fact you choose to ignore.

    • libertarian
      Posted May 24, 2019 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      Gordon Pugh

      Er seems you dont understand this.. Thanks anyway

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted May 24, 2019 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      Gordon Pugh

      I beg to the differ….the UK has a major part to play….?

      The “Deep Packet Inspection – data extraction” Technology is one of my specialities too…sold enough cybersecurity technology into the Telecoms industry throughout EMEA and GCHQ to fill a small stadium….you would be amazed what can be captured via the Internet/Mobile/Telcom communication networks, and Britain is at the forefront.

      I can’t speak of GCHQ (it’s not allowed), but just go to a large Telecoms company and watch a global security network map and watch where the major DDOS+ attacks are coming from (yes you have guessed it?). Britain should have major reservations dealing with the Chinese when it comes to digital security….and Britain has an excellent record of achievement in this industry, which is a direct benefit to others around the globe? Incidentally, Deep Packet Inspection/data retrieval technology was first developed in Cambridge.

  31. oldwulf
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Two different systems will be a good thing ?

  32. Lifelogic
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    So nearly three years as PM and she has achieved nothing at all positive while wasting £ billions, increasing taxes and red tape hugely with declining and often dire public services. The last six months of this period all thanks to the 200 dopes who idiotically voted confidence in her last December.

    Will the new leader be allowed by Parliament to deliver a real Brexit will they be able to rescue the Conservative Party.

    Ed Vaizey supports Michael Gove for PM. The man who stabbed Boris in the back & made us all suffer three years of May. He also wants to kill all private schools (which would cost a fortune). The man has hardly anymore electoral appeal than the dire Theresa. He would be another disaster (as would any member of the recent Cabinet).

    Gus O’Donnell says she (May) has an enormous amount of Sympathy! Not from anyone I know. Also that her W/A deal was a very good deal and others’ could not have done better. Something that says rather a lot about Gus O’Donnell and most of the dire civil service establishment that all seem to be as misguided as Gus.

  33. forthurst
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    If you knew which spy agencies control Facebook and Google, you might not wish to use them either.

    The US doesn’t want us to buy Huawei for the same reason they don’t want Turkey to buy the S-400.

  34. Jim
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Donald may have overeached himself here. Already the US semiconductor companies are looking at a big drop in revenues and more importantly trust and confidence in the future. The world economy does not need a trade war based on bullying and pure woo. This means money, not so much of it going into the American economy. Without a money flow Donald will be a dead duck.

    Even today we can see Donald rowing back on this ‘security’ problem and offering the rescind his ban as part of a trade deal. OK, but everone can see there is a future danger here, a capricious and wounded America will lash out. Time for American and European and Chinese companies to limit their exposure the the US government.

  35. Newmania
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    An opportunity to use the phrase the”The Great Fire Wall”, of China has been inexcusably missed.
    Perhaps what we need is an international agreement on the export of complex services to avoid this kind of thing …some sort of if a “single market” , and , maybe , it would be useful for the West to exert pressure on China as a block as it did over its entry to WTO .
    Yes that might be a good idea
    Alternatively we can sit on our drizzly isolated island and opine to eachother when no-one gives a …eeerm ..moments thought , to what we reckon

    Yes lets go with that shall we !

  36. Mitchel
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    China this week has raised the possibility of disrupting supplies of rare earth minerals to hostile states in response to the Huawei ban.Top five producers in 2018 (according to US Geological Survey):

    China 120 metric tons
    Australia 20
    USA 15
    Myanmar 5
    Russia 3

  37. ukretired123
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Hacking competitors systems via the internet is the Achilles heel and posing as innocent users whilst probing for vulnerabilities by paid agents of dubious intent is the key reason for the cyber curtain.
    It takes place 24/7 around the world and has mushroomed in the last 20 years and is the new Great Wall of China and other closed authoritarian or rogue states. It is a race to have more sophisticated security than one’s competitors.
    China can easily embed a hardware or software time bomb in any of its creations to create havoc just like ransomware lying dormant and not easily detected in very complex systems.
    You can only do so much as 100% Security is impossible especially where humans are involved, foolproof but never idiot-proof. Simple example Enigma two keys sign-on.

  38. Edwardm
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    Modern electronic and software technology provides powerful processing and communication facilities and so offers huge amenities for the common benefit, but also offers the means for centralised control and insidious behaviour in hidden ways. This is despite the dispersed (multipath) nature of the internet, and because of the complexity, speed and invisibility of the systems.
    Trump is right and May is utterly wrong on these issues, as she is on much else.

    It is better to have a western controlled system in the west, than a global system controlled by China.

  39. BillM
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    China have a wretched reputation for copying patented products and selling them as their own. They also totally ignore Intellectual Property Rules yet expect the West to obediently allow them access to our technology but refuse to reciprocate.
    How can any advanced Nation accept that contention?
    The West is justified in their approach to not only protect their industries but also protect their Nations from potential future cyber-Threats. Safety First!

  40. TheyWontCrushBrexit
    Posted May 24, 2019 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    Those who work in UK IT Security have long been aware of the fact that China spies on the UK Government and our industries.

    The MOD are almost certainly aware of the threats.

    There has been accurate coverage of the issue in the Press…so it is in the public domain.

    And yet, our esteemed PM knows better.

    Was she made aware of the threats…and chose to ignore them?
    Incompetence…pig-headedness…or blissfully uaware?

    Another Theresa May ” cluster-muck-up”.

  41. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted May 25, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    There is a general question to be answered: how long should innovation be rewarded with high profits? How long should patents last? I think that 20 years is too long. Something like two to five years should be more appropriate. The durations for pharmaceuticals and high tech may be different.

    We shouldn’t let the Trump administration present protectionist measures as security measures. The security issues must be assessable by the public and it is up to the security services to produce a suitable summary.

    Let me raise another issue. There are many potential uses of AI and high tech. Market forces should determine which succeed. The last thing we need is some clown like Greg Clark ‘picking winners’ under the guise of an industrial strategy.

  42. David Maples
    Posted May 25, 2019 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    That’s prophetic, but here’s another ‘prophecy’. The Chinese communist party will implode eventually, imitating the Soviet Union’s dénouement. At this point in history no country can isolate itself from the USA. The spirit of Reagan will live again.

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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