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So Is It Safe To Use A Huawei Phone?

Image result for huawei and zte
So recently the heads of the FBI, CIA, NSA and presumably any other three letter organisation came out and warned American citizens from using Huawei or ZTE phones fearing their ties to the Chinese government. So is this fear of Chinese phones or tech based on any real concrete national security concerns?

A Little BackstoryImage result for great firewall

Over on the other side of the great firewall things are very different and I mean very different. In the west or where ever you're reading this from (This is probably not even accessible in China), privacy laws are very strict and not in a good way. You see while the rest of the world formulates laws to protect or safeguard a users privacy the laws in China are literally the opposite the laws help the Chinese government snoop on it's citizens, And the Chinese government isn't afraid to use these laws. A man was jailed for the heinous crime of sharing pictures of the Dalai Lama on WeChat (Chinese iMessage). Let that sink in the Chinese government was able to intercept the data sent over a third party app and then they used that data to punish a person. Thats how flimsy privacy is in China. More over you cant send texts about anything the Chinese ruling party deems inappropriate. So yeah you can't expect the Chinese government to protect your data privacy. As per the law in China the government has full access to any and all data stored on a server in China as we've seen. This law is applicable to any business that wants to do business in China. The recently enacted law makes is mandatory for all data pertaining to Chinese citizens be stored on Chinese servers. Following this Apple has opened a data server in the country. The situation is so bad that Google was not allowed to operate in China for as Google failed to adhere to these rules. Look this is a rabbit hole I could run an entire blog on this topic about how China uses state of the art surveillance to keep its rouge provinces in check about how you need to provide an ID to buy a kitchen knife (which has QR codes so that it can be traced back to you). The point is China collects a lot of data and they're not coy about it.

But We Don't Live In China  

Now you might be thinking that none of us reading this is from China so we needn't be worried about this. But you might as well be living in China if your phone decides to send your data to a server in China. Now if you're just an Average Joe thats no big deal, but lets say you're someone higher up on the food chain like lets say a military general then these privacy concerns start to make sense. Countries have already advised their military officers from using Chinese phones citing security concerns. So basically you have to trust a faceless corporation to not send your personal information to Chinese servers. Now that might be doable if Chinese phone manufacturers like OnePlus weren't hit by allegations that say that they collected personal information like credit card numbers. Not once but twice.  Make no mistake data theft like this is a threat to national security. Look at Strava they were able to pinpoint military bases in the middle of nowhere with just a few GPS datapoint. Imagine the intel you'd be able to gather with an array of data from millions of smartphones. The irony is that China banned Pokemon Go for the very same reasons mentioned above. So basically you have to trust that your manufacturer doesn't send your data overseas.

But those are just my thoughts what do you think? 


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