At a glance.
- China extends national security law to Hong Kong.
- The US Commerce Department sanctions Chinese firms for participation in Uyghur oppression.
- Britain draws up plans to remove Huawei from its 5G infrastructure by 2023.
- Tech sector lobbies the US House to prohibit warrantless collection of search histories.
- States call for Federal cyber funds.
China extends national security law to Hong Kong.
China has announced its intention to impose national security laws on Hong Kong immediately, as an anti-sedition measure, the Guardian reports. This is widely regarded as marking the end of the one-country, two-systems policy under which Hong Kong's return to Chinese rule was negotiated, and it's also being regarded with alarm internationally, where, according to Kyodo News, the move is thought likely to provoke further sanctions against China. Reason calls the policy "an end to Hong Kongers' freedom," and if the increase in VPN installations in the city noticed over the past week by AtlasVPN is any indication, Hong Kongers seem inclined to agree. How well Beijing proves able to digest the relatively free population of Hong Kong remains to be seen.
The US Commerce Department sanctions Chinese firms for participation in Uyghur oppression.
On Friday the US Department of Commerce added nine Chinese organizations to the Entity List that limits their ability to trade with US organizations. They're specifically being sanctioned for their role in "human rights abuses in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region" (XUAR). Two of the organizations are cited for direct participation in human rights abuses, the People’s Republic of China’s Ministry of Public Security’s Institute of Forensic Science, and the commercial firm Aksu Huafu Textiles Company. Seven other companies are cited for "enabling China’s high-technology surveillance in the XUAR." These companies include CloudWalk Technology, FiberHome Technologies Group and its subsidiary Nanjing FiberHome Starrysky Communication Development, NetPosa and its subsidiary SenseNets, Intellifusion, and IS’Vision.
All nine entities are, the US says, "complicit in human rights violations and abuses committed in China’s campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, forced labor and high-technology surveillance against Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs, and other members of Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region." Placement on the Entity List "imposes additional license requirements on, and limits the availability of most license exceptions for, exports, re-exports, and transfers (in-country) to listed entities."
Britain draws up plans to remove Huawei from its 5G infrastructure by 2023.
Under Parliamentary pressure from the ruling Tory majority and diplomatic undertakings from the US and Australia, the British Government is reconsidering its decision to allow Huawei to participate in the country's 5G build-out, TechCrunch reports. The Government is now drawing up plans that would remove Huawei from the country’s 5G infrastructure by the year 2023.
The Government had formerly planned to cap Huawei’s share of the British market at 35%, and to exclude the company from participation in “core” infrastructure. Under the new plans, at least three of the Five Eyes are now relatively closely aligned in their approach to the risk of infrastructure being compromised by Chinese intelligence services. The US had suggested that allowing Huawei and similar companies into a country’s networks would gravely limit the amount and quality of information the US would be willing to share with its allied counterparts.
The British move comes after a week in which the US announced stiffer export controls that would effectively keep US-developed semiconductors out of Huawei’s hands. Huawei acknowledges that the latest export controls would impose a hardship on the company, but also told Yahoo Finance that excluding the company from participation in 5G markets will only slow down the progress of 5G technology generally. They’re also expected to drive Chinese tech sector in the direction of greater autarky.
Tech sector lobbies the US House to prohibit warrantless collection of search histories.
A tech industry group has written the US House of Representatives urging explicit prohibition of "warrantless collection of internet search and browsing history" in the USA FREEDOM Reauthorization Act.
States call for Federal cyber funds.
US state and local governments are seeking Federal cash assistance to help them deal with rising cyber threats during the pandemic emergency, the Hill reports. Some of the needs are correlated with the increased traffic (and a larger attack surface) presented by COVID-19 emergency relief programs.