FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

No Huawei! US Spy Chiefs Reverse Course on Phone Spying

If it seems like only a year ago that the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation was telling us how dangerous it is for Americans to have encrypted smart phones that make it hard for the FBI to poke around in our data, that’s because yes, it really was only a year ago.

In early 2017, James Comey took Apple to court, demanding that the company help the FBI hack into the iPhone used by San Bernardino terrorist/murderer Syed Farook. Other officials have kept up a steady whine against strong encryption ever since.

But now, CNN reports, the FBI and other US intelligence agencies are suddenly and ever so deeply concerned with preserving your smart phone privacy.
Testifying before the US Senate Intelligence Committee, officials from the FBI, CIA, NSA, et al. warned Americans against using phones made by Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE.

Why? Because, Christopher Wray (Comey’s successor at the FBI) explains, the Chinese government might equip, or find and exploit weaknesses in, such phones to “maliciously modify or steal information” and “conduct undetected espionage.”

I feel Wray’s pain. The US spy community has presumably been playing catch-up with China and everyone else since last March, when WikiLeaks released its “Vault 7” series of documents exposing the CIA’s tools and methods for compromising your electronic privacy. Wikileaks then went to work helping American tech firms harden their gear against those tools and methods. Wray and friends must really hate the idea of being in second place behind Beijing when it comes to eavesdropping on, and rifling through the files of, Americans.

Who would you rather have crawling around inside your cell phone: The FBI or China’s Ministry of State Security? It’s not a tough call for me.

We’re separated from China by an ocean, and their government probably doesn’t give a hoot about the three felonies author Harvey Silverglate says the average American commits every day. Unless I’ve got the military’s nuclear launch codes or pictures of Donald Trump and someone else naked together on my phone (eww!), the Chinese probably aren’t interested.

The FBI, on the other hand, seems to spend a lot of its time charging people with crimes that shouldn’t even BE crimes. Like, for example, lying to the FBI.

If I didn’t already own a Samsung, I’d be temped to tell the FBI to shut up and get the heck out of my Huawei.

More articles by:

Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.

November 21, 2018
Manuel García, Jr.
Climate Change Action Would Kill Imperialism
Kenneth Surin
Return to Denver: Clouds on the Horizon
Jonathan Cook
Netanyahu’s Ceasefire is Meant to Keep Gaza Imprisoned
John Steppling
Liar Liar
Bill Hackwell
Paradise Lost
Gary Leupp
“Maybe He Did, and Maybe He Didn’t:” Reflections on Morality in 2018
W. T. Whitney
Criminal Behavior: US May be Developing Biological Weapons
Zhivko Illeieff
How Media, Tech, and News Networks Normalize Trump’s Propaganda
NEVE GORDON - NICOLA PERUGINI
Migrant Caravan: Branding Migrants “Human Shields” Has a Deadly Motive
Wouter Hoenderdaal
Jordan Peterson’s Disturbing Views on Inequality
Dean Baker
Nicholas Kristof and the China Trade War
Colin Todhunter
Approaching Development: GMO Propaganda and Neoliberalism vs Localisation and Agroecology
November 20, 2018
John Davis
Geographies of Violence in Southern California
Anthony Pahnke
Abolishing ICE Means Defunding it
Maximilian Werner
Why (Mostly) Men Trophy Hunt: a Biocultural Explanation
Masturah Alatas
Undercutting Female Circumcision
Jack Rasmus
Global Oil Price Deflation 2018 and Beyond
Geoff Dutton
Why High Technology’s Double-Edged Sword is So Hard to Swallow
Binoy Kampmark
Charges Under Seal: US Prosecutors Get Busy With Julian Assange
Rev. William Alberts
America Fiddles While California Burns
Forrest Hylton, Aaron Tauss and Juan Felipe Duque Agudelo
Remaking the Common Good: the Crisis of Public Higher Education in Colombia
Patrick Cockburn
What Can We Learn From a Headmaster Who Refused to Allow His Students to Celebrate Armistice Day?
Clark T. Scott
Our Most Stalwart Company
Tom H. Hastings
Look to the Right for Corruption
Edward Hunt
With Nearly 400,000 Dead in South Sudan, Will the US Finally Change Its Policy?
Thomas Knapp
Hypocrisy Alert: Republicans Agreed with Ocasio-Cortez Until About One Minute Ago
November 19, 2018
David Rosen
Amazon Deal: New York Taxpayers Fund World Biggest Sex-Toy Retailer
Sheldon Richman
Art of the Smear: the Israel Lobby Busted
Chad Hanson
Why Trump is Wrong About the California Wildfires
Dean Baker
Will Progressives Ever Think About How We Structure Markets, Instead of Accepting them as Given?
Robert Fisk
We Remember the Great War, While Palestinians Live It
Dave Lindorff
Pelosi’s Deceptive Plan: Blocking any Tax Rise Could Rule Out Medicare-for-All and Bolstering Social Security
Rick Baum
What Can We Expect From the Democrat “Alternative” Given Their Record in California?
Thomas Scott Tucker
Trump, World War I and the Lessons of Poetry
John W. Whitehead
Red Flag Gun Laws
Newton Finn
On Earth, as in Heaven: the Utopianism of Edward Bellamy
Robert Fantina
Shithole Countries: Made in the USA
René Voss
Have Your Say about Ranching in Our Point Reyes National Seashore
Weekend Edition
November 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jonah Raskin
A California Jew in a Time of Anti-Semitism
Andrew Levine
Whither the Melting Pot?
Joshua Frank
Climate Change and Wildfires: The New Western Travesty
Nick Pemberton
The Revolution’s Here, Please Excuse Me While I Laugh
T.J. Coles
Israel Cannot Use Violent Self-Defense While Occupying Gaza
Rob Urie
Nuclear Weapons are a Nightmare Made in America
Paul Street
Barack von Obamenburg, Herr Donald, and Big Capitalist Hypocrisy: On How Fascism Happens
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail