It might be easy to overlook the recent arrest of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou. After all, how many of us even know about Huawei? I didn’t. For a quick overview, Huawei is an international Chinese technology company. Wanzhou’s arrest by US investigators and their extradition efforts should raise concern over China’s dominance in the 5G mobile networks.
American investigators collected substantial evidence that this Chinese backed company violated Iranian sanctions. Besides working with a radical regime, Huawei seeks to control the world’s 5G networks. If this happens, much of the world’s data will pass through Huawei’s mobile network.
Even though Huawei is a privately-owned company, they are ruled by Chinese laws that require them to share data China deems important for national security. Already Huawei is heavily involved in Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping’s efforts to create the world’s foremost police state.
In China, everyone’s social network activities, search engine explorations, and online purchases are tracked. Government officials have created the Social Credit System to monitor and score each citizen’s personal activities and habits. Then he/she is scored for party loyalty. All of this data on its citizens, and potentially other nations would be a powerful tool. If successful, China’s Huawei could dictate the rules for the next generation of technology, which includes the use of artificial intelligence.
Skynet is China’s nationwide surveillance system. By 2020 it hopes to monitor 100 percent of its public areas. They will meet this goal. At an intersection in Beijing, a large monitor captures every face, and immediately illuminates the name and ID number of every person crossing. Police use devices that extract information from cell phone contact lists, photos, text messages, emails, and downloads of banned apps. Facial recognition systems tell police when someone they are watching ventures 1000 feet from their home or work. Now with the use of artificial intelligence, this gleaned information can then be used to detect patterns of behavior, relationships, and flag suspicious deviations.
In China, deviations aren’t encouraged—as evidenced by the 1 million Uighurs (Muslims) now in re-education camps. The underground Christian communities face continual persecution. Thankfully America respects our freedom. Yet with our global interconnectedness and our penchant for online activities, beware of Huawei and how their control could change our future.