At a glance.
- The EU will, for now, leave facial recognition tech up to member states.
- The US says it has hard evidence of Huawei backdoors.
No five-year moratorium on facial recongnition tech in the EU.
The Financial Times says the EU is retreating from a proposed five-year moratorium on deploying facial recognition technology, and will leave the matter up to member states. The difficulty of achieving consensus across the European Union isn’t to be underestimated. Even with the UK’s departure from the Union at the end of last month, some member states have shown a significant interest in the technology’s potential for security.
The US continues to push allies to exclude Huawei from 5G infrastructure.
The US has, according to the Washington Examiner, continued its campaign to persuade allies to exclude Huawei from their 5G infrastructure. This time Washington may have a few more shots in its locker, specifically hard evidence that Huawei equipment is indeed backdoored, and that the company can, should it so desire, monitor traffic transiting the networks that use its gear.
The US has not yet made its evidence public, but in outline it appears to run along the lines the Wall Street Journal described in an exclusive. The US says that Huawei for more than a decade has secretly built backdoors into its equipment through which it can access communications the network operators use Chinese-built kit to carry. The Wall Street Journal writes that such access is attained through lawful interception interfaces in the systems. Such interfaces are not unique to Huawei equipment. What’s unique to Huawei, the US claims, is secret retention of access to those interfaces, which should be available only to legal authorities acting under authority of national wiretapping laws.
Huawei dismissed the US allegations, saying that only network operators, not equipment vendors like itself, can access communications.
For all the US efforts to show Huawei the highway, the emerging compromise position appears to be roughly the one reached in the UK. Reuters reports, for example, that Germany appears ready to follow a risk management approach similar to that adopted by the UK.