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Huawei blocked: Tech must be stripped from UK’s 5G network by 2027 | Politics News

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Boris Johnson has ordered all Huawei technology to be stripped out of the UK’s 5G network by 2027.

In a major U-turn, the prime minister also banned the purchase of any new 5G equipment from the Chinese tech giant from the end of this year.

The government acknowledged the move would delay the roll-out of 5G in the UK by two to three years and increase costs by up to £2bn.

A pedestrian walks past a Huawei product stand at an EE telecommunications shop in central London on April 29, 2019. - British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has urged caution over the role of China's Huawei in the UK, saying the government should think carefully before opening its doors to the technology giant to develop next-generation 5G mobile networks. His comments come after Prime Minister Theresa May conditionally allowed China's Huawei to build the UK 5G network, information that was leaked to a newspaper from top secret discussions between senior ministers and security officials, a leak that has caused a scandal that has rocked Britain's splintered government. (Photo by Tolga Akmen / AFP)        (Photo credit should read TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
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Huawei is accused of having close links to the Chinese government

Acting on the advice of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), Mr Johnson has accepted new US sanctions on Huawei are a “game changer” in relation to the impact of the firm’s technology on the UK’s national security.

Downing Street had previously allowed Huawei to have a role in the UK’s 5G infrastructure – a decision that came little more than six months ago.

Mr Johnson and senior ministers agreed to the removal of Huawei technology within the next seven years at a meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) in Downing Street on Tuesday morning.

Sky News’s defence and security correspondent Alistair Bunkall said there were some “tense exchanges” during the NSC meeting.

An existing ban on Huawei’s involvement in the most sensitive parts of the UK’s 5G networks – announced in January when the prime minister previously gave the go-ahead for the firm to build mobile infrastructure – remains in place.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden confirmed Tuesday’s further action on Huawei in a statement to the House of Commons, as he announced the measures would be put into law by a forthcoming Telecoms Security Bill.

He told MPs: “By the time of the next election we will have implemented in law an irreversible path for the complete removal of Huawei equipment from our 5G networks.

“We have not taken this decision lightly and I must be frank about the decision’s consequences for every constituency in this country; this will delay our roll-out of 5G.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson departs 10 Downing Street, in Westminster, London, to attend Prime Minister's Questions at the Houses of Parliament.
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Boris Johnson made the decision on the advice of the National Cyber Security Centre

Mr Dowden said the measures introduced both in January and on Tuesday would cause a cumulative delay to the roll-out of 5G in the UK of two to three years and increase costs by up to £2bn.

Critics have long alleged Huawei has close links to the Chinese government and its equipment could be used for espionage purposes – something the company has always denied.

Huawei describes itself as a private company “fully owned by its employees”.

In January, Mr Johnson confirmed Huawei would be able to build “non-core” parts of the UK’s 5G network, but with a series of conditions attached to the company’s involvement.

This included capping Huawei’s market share at 35% and blocking it from involvement in the most sensitive areas of the network.

US President Donald Trump sits with his arms crossed during a roundtable discussion on the Safe Reopening of Americas Schools during the coronavirus pandemic, in the East Room of the White House on July 7, 2020, in Washington, DC. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
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Donald Trump was said to have been angry about the UK’s original plan to allow Huawei into its 5G network

The prime minister’s decision angered US President Donald Trump – who was reported to have been “apoplectic” with Mr Johnson in a telephone call.

In May, the US placed more sanctions on Huawei to block the firm from using computer chips based on American designs in any of its equipment.

This led to fears the company could begin to use “untrusted” replacement technologies – and prompted the NCSC’s review of January’s decision.

They are understood to have concluded there were no alternative products on the market for which the UK could have confidence in.

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The NCSC had “significantly changed their security assessment” of Huawei’s presence in the UK’s 5G network in the wake of the US sanctions, Mr Dowden told MPs.

He added: “Given the uncertainty that this creates around Huawei’s supply chain, the UK can no longer be confident it will be able to guarantee the security of future Huawei 5G equipment affected by the change in US foreign direct-product rules.”

Chi Onwurah, Labour’s shadow digital, science and technology minister, branded the government’s approach “incomprehensibly negligent”.

She told MPs: “It has been clear for some time that there are serious questions over whether Huawei should be allowed to control large sections of our country’s telecoms networks, yet the government refused to face reality.

“Their approach to our 5G capability, Huawei and our national security has been incomprehensibly negligent.”



5g explained



Explained: Why 5G and Huawei matter

Responding to the government’s announcement, Huawei UK spokesperson Ed Brewster said: “This disappointing decision is bad news for anyone in the UK with a mobile phone.

“It threatens to move Britain into the digital slow lane, push up bills and deepen the digital divide.

“Instead of ‘levelling up’ the government is levelling down and we urge them to reconsider.

“We remain confident that the new US restrictions would not have affected the resilience or security of the products we supply to the UK.

“Regrettably our future in the UK has become politicised, this is about US trade policy and not security.”

Mr Brewster said Huawei would conduct a “detailed review” of what Tuesday’s decision means for the firm’s involvement in the UK.



Tony Blair says the West's relationship with China is 'biggest geopolitical challenge of 21st century'



China relationship ‘extremely troubling’

In recent months, an increasing number of Conservative MPs had spoken out about Huawei’s involvement in the UK, which piled pressure on Mr Johnson to reverse January’s decision.

Dissent on the Tory benches in the House of Commons had also grown amid wider concerns about China, including Beijing’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, its imposition of a new security law on Hong Kong, and its treatment of Uighur Muslims in detention camps.

In March, 38 Tory MPs rebelled against the government in a Commons vote over Huawei’s 5G role.

On Tuesday morning, ahead of the NSC meeting, former Conservative leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith told Sky News that “you can’t separate” Chinese firms and the Chinese government.

“Across the free world, more and more countries are now recognising that they face a particular threat now from Chinese government intentions,” he said.

Following the government’s announcement, Sir Iain later said the UK could strip out Huawei technology from 5G infrastructure sooner than 2027 and called for the deadline to be shortened to five years.

Iain Duncan Smith warned the UK needs to urgently look at its relationship with China
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Iain Duncan Smith has warned the UK needs to urgently look at its relationship with China

Tom Tugendhat, who chairs the Commons’ Foreign Affairs committee and the China Research Group of Tory MPs, hailed “a major victory for parliament”.

“Huawei’s position in the UK’s phone networks is now in reverse and our future prosperity will not be tied to a company linked to [the] Chinese state,” he said.

“There’s no point in taking back control from Brussels only to hand it over to Beijing.”

However, Mr Tugendhat called for “more details” and “more speed” on the government’s action.

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Tech chief executives to defend key law in front of U.S. Senate panel on Wednesday- Technology News, Firstpost

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 Tech chief executives to defend key law in front of U.S. Senate panel on Wednesday

By David Shepardson and Nandita Bose

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The chief executives of Twitter Inc, Facebook and Alphabet Inc will tell U.S. lawmakers at a hearing on Wednesday that a federal law protecting internet companies is crucial to free expression on the internet, according to written testimonies from the companies seen by Reuters.

Section 230, a provision of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, shields technology companies from liability for user-generated content and allows them to remove lawful but objectionable posts. It has come under heavy criticism from President Donald Trump and both Democratic and Republican lawmakers who have been concerned about Big Tech’s content-moderation decisions.

Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey will tell the Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday that eroding the foundation of Section 230 “could collapse how we communicate on the Internet, leaving only a small number of giant and well-funded technology companies.”

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg warned that tech companies were likely to censor more to avoid legal risks if Section 230 is repealed.

“Without Section 230, platforms could potentially be held liable for everything people say,” he said.

(Reporting by David Shepardson and Nandita Bose; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.



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Hats off to the UK for smartphone unlocking laws, and more tech news today

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Your tech news digest, by way of the DGiT Daily tech newsletter, for Tuesday, 27 October 2020

1. UK bans locked phones, hooray!

The UK has announced a ban on the sale of network-locked phones, finally ending one of the vices that carriers try and use to keep you loyal to them.

  • The BBC reported that while it typically costs about £10 to get a locked smartphone unlocked, studies showed that’s not the full story, with half of all those who try to do so experience difficulties:
  • “These [difficulities] can include facing a long wait to receive the code needed to trigger the process, as well as then finding that the code does not work.”
  • “We know that lots of people can be put off from switching because their handset is locked. So we’re banning mobile companies from selling locked phones, which will save people time, money and effort — and help them unlock better deals,” Ofcom connectivity director Selina Chadha was quoted as saying on the regulator’s website.

Finally: 

  • This is a welcome change, with most reactions saying finally, this is long overdue, and so on.
  • While some carriers in the UK were already keeping phones unlocked, the likes of giants including Vodafone and BT were not, and will now need to comply by December, 2021. Which isn’t soon enough really, but at least it will come into place.
  • The whole practice was a great scheme for carriers but really made little sense in any other business model in the world, where consumers pay for devices they can only use while paying a certain company. Telecommunications is unique, and carriers will always wield power when they can get away with it.

Elsewhere?

  • In Europe, this is generally the case already, and in Singapore, for example, locked phones are banned.
  • In Australia phones are generally unlocked too, except in some cases with prepaid phones where phones are often affordable but made cheaper through locks.
  • In South Africa, major carrier Vodacom started adding locks as recently as a year ago, reversing previous unlocked phones.
  • And of course, there’s the US, where locked phones are much more common. Some devices may only be compatible with specific networks too. For example, some phones like the OnePlus 7T require a specific Verizon variant as the standard unlocked model doesn’t work on Verizon. Which is strange!
  • Verizon, for example, keeps a lock for 60 days after purchase before then unlocking. And it’s completely legal to unlock a phone, which leads to guides like ‘How to unlock a Verizon phone’ being popular, for Verizon’s pre-paid devices.
  • Otherwise, unlocking a phone locked to AT&T on a contract may require that you’ve paid out a 24-month plan already and jumping through various hoops.
  • It may be that moves like this commendable one from the UK regulator heaps pressure on other countries, too.

2. The OnePlus Nord N10 and N100 were announced yesterday with the leaks right on the money. They’re more affordable or budget phones with headphone jacks, and with microSD card slots for the first time for OnePlus phones. We don’t know pricing yet but it’s going to be in a battle with the likes of the Google Pixel 4a and iPhone SE for the N10 (Android Authority). And wait, wasn’t every OnePlus phone supposed to have a high refresh rate screen? (Android Authority).


3. Samsung Galaxy S30 Ultra specs leak: An S20 Ultra with a new coat? Oh, and don’t expect a charger or earphones in the Galaxy S30’s box (Android Authority).


4. Fairphone 3 Plus review: Sustainability comes with compromises (The Verge).


5. Facebook is the latest to jump into mobile cloud gaming. I had a look, the games on offer are …extremely Facebook. Plus, digs at Apple’s iOS policies (Android Authority).


6. Microsoft adds mouse and trackpad support to Office apps on iPad (Engadget).


7. iPhone 12 drop test confirms the new screen helps durability, to an extent (Engadget).


8. Roku Ultra 2020 review: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, which makes it a tough sell over the Roku Streaming Stick Plus which is half the cost (CNET).


9. AMD agrees to buy Xilinx for $35 billion in stock, which may open up 5G and automotive electronics as Xilinx invented the FGPA (NY Times)


10. “Sometimes I think of how cakes are a miracle.” (Twitter)


11. Moon holds more water in more places than ever thought — but don’t overdo it. “To be clear, this is not puddles of water,” stressed lead researcher Casey Honniball (AP).


The DGiT Daily delivers a daily email that keeps you ahead of the curve for all tech news, opinions, and links to what’s going down in the planet’s most important field. You get all the context and insight you need, and all with a touch of fun. Plus! Rotating daily fun for each day of the week, like Wednesday Weirdness. Join in!



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Apple to charge more for apps in India and five other countries

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By: Tech Desk | New Delhi |

October 27, 2020 11:43:30 am


apple app store price hike, app store price hike india, app store prices revision, apple app store controversy, apple app store tax, app store tax on developersApple App Store prices set to be increased in six countries (File Photo)

Apple announced on Monday that it will charge more apps in India, Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia, Russia, and South Africa in the next few days. This change will apply to in-app purchases as well and the developer will receive updated price tier charts informing them about the change in prices of their apps. Specifically for India, there will be an increase of two per cent in addition to the goods and services tax of 18 per cent which is already in place. On the other hand, in Indonesia foreign developers will have to bear the burden of an additional 10 per cent tax.

“When taxes or foreign exchange rates change, we sometimes need to update prices on the App Store,” the Cupertino-giant said in the announcement posted on its developer website.

There is no confirmation whether the increase in prices will be applicable or not for other services like Apple Music, Apple TV+ and iCloud. On the other hand, this increase will apply on auto-renewable subscriptions as well. Also, it is yet to be clarified as to when the App Store users will be able to see these changes.

The statement further mentioned, “You can download the updated price tier charts now. Once these changes go into effect, the Pricing and Availability section of My Apps will be updated, and your proceeds will be adjusted accordingly and calculated based on the tax-exclusive price. You can change the price of your apps and in-app purchases (including auto-renewable subscriptions) at any time in App Store Connect. If you offer subscriptions, you can choose to preserve prices for existing subscribers.”

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In the near future, the prices of Albania and Iceland as per the other markets with value-added tax selling in US dollars. However, this is not the first instance where Apple has made changes in App store prices for specific countries. The prices were revised in Japan last year. Also, the last time India prices were revised was in the first quarter of 2017.

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