At a glance.
- Brazil's telecommunications regulator bucks decisions about Huawei to the President's national security adviser.
- Mixed US signals on Huawei.
- Facebook concerned about censorship in Singapore.
- The European Union won't necessarily adopt Facebook's view of content moderation and control.
Huawei in Brazil's 5G? That's a national security decision.
Brazil's telecommunications authority is preparing to auction 5G bandwidth at the end of this year, in either November or December, and, while the regulators are aware of the cybersecurity issues surrounding Huawei's participation in the country's 5G infrastructure, they say it's not for them to address. It's a national security concern that will properly be decided by the GSI, specifically by General Augusto Heleno, who's responsible to President Bolsonaro for such matters, Reuters reports.
The US Administration sends mixed signals on Huawei.
The US has continued to push its allies to keep Huawei and to a lesser extent ZTE out of their 5G infrastructure build-out. US authorities in both the Executive Branch and Congress are concerned that the Chinese hardware manufacturers will prove to be conduits for espionage on behalf of Beijing. Domestically that position has been strengthened by yesterday's decision by the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas to deny Huawei's suit challenging the constitutionality of provisions Congress placed in the National Defense Act that would restrict Huawai and ZTE from most participation in Federal contracts. Reuters says the court found that Congress was acting within its proper authority when it did so. But the Washington Post and the Register both report that recent statements by President Trump suggest he may be prepared to see restrictions on the Chinese companies as a bargaining chip in trade negotiations, and that he might be open to pulling back on such measures should they prove unduly burdensome on US exports.
Facebook thinks Singapore's content moderation amounts to censorship.
Singapore's Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) requires Facebook to restrict access to pages that the government deems are engaged in spreading disinformation. The law has been used against the States Times Review (not to be confused with the Straits Times), ZDNet reports, in connection with the outlet's distribution of misinformation about the coronavirus outbreak. Facebook complied with the disabling order, but objected that the government was using POFMA as an instrument of censorship.
The EU will keep its own counsel on social media regulation.
Facebook's founder Mark Zuckerberg has also visited Europe to share his company's views on content moderation and the regulation of social media generally with European Union policy makers. EU Industry Commissioner Thierry Breton, however, remained unconvinced by Menlo Park's recommendations, and may be moving toward a regulatory regime that requires and expects faster and more restrictive takedowns of material regulators deem false, misleading, or otherwise harmful. Similar regulations are contemplated at the national level, both by current member states and the recently departed United Kingdom. Commissioner Breton gave Mr. Zuckerberg's approach a blunt rebuff, CNBC reports: it's up to Facebook to conform to the EU, and not the other way around.