why is using foreign telecom equipment in a nations infrastructure a possible threat to the nations security? Surely local software engineers could neutralise the threat?

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why is using foreign telecom equipment in a nations infrastructure a possible threat to the nations security? Surely local software engineers could neutralise the threat?

In: Technology

Software engineers engineer software.

If there’s a backdoor in the hardware and that hardware is a block of silica that’s impossible to take apart without destroying it, randomly changing the software isn’t going to help.

Or rather, it’s theoretically possible but more costly than building the infrastructure to make your own hardware.

The issue is more allowing a single telecom provider to supply the hardware for the system. The one people are talking about nowadays, 5G would carry huge amounts of data and the vast majority of new technology would use it. It’s much much easier to access communications and digital systems if you have control of the hardware. There is also the risk than if the country who supplied the hardware decided to be openly aggressive they could potentially design in vulnerabilities into the system which they could exploit by say blocking access to the internet for a city or emergency responders. If you hire someone to build all the locks in your house, they’re in a pretty good position to break in and rob you.

Aren’t you implicitly admitting that there *is* a threat by suggesting it could be managed? In that case, the burden of proof is on you to *demonstrate* that it can be satisfactorily minimized, instead of just shrugging and saying “well, somebody else can just handle it. It can’t be that hard.”