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Buying 5G technology from a benign country like Finland or Sweden seems like a good strategy. Both these countries have no aspiration for world domination and have track records of honest business dealings. I don't think either Ericson or Nokia has ever been accused or guilty of spying or stealing technology.

They also have cooperated with GCHQ and the NSA.

Personally I think "the devil you know" mentality is better when considering that any Telecom tech could be compromised. Yeah everybody is probably spying, so you should get your gear from your strongest allies.

Would you rather have a friend or an enemy spying on you? That appears to be the only options now that technology has thoroughly penetrated every day life.

Another point not mentioned enough is that societies with free press are far more likely to find and report exploits/backdoors. In a country like the US you see this a lot. There's many cases of security researchers reporting possible government funded exploits against their own government. In a place like China reporting something like that would probably mean you disappear

> Would you rather have a friend or an enemy spying on you?

A better decision rationale would be; which of the two is more likely to use their spy-data against you?

And the answer to that is without doubt; your own local spy agency, not the one operating in another country.

In the long term, I'd not want my country's national security compromised by a morally bankrupt govt not subject to democracy.

Fundamentally much of what you think in this way is the direct product of propaganda from your own state. It would behoove you to investigate your own preconceptions and realise where you first got them.

It would behoove you to not guess at how I arrived at my beliefs and where I live and then claim I've got preconceptions.

I can see the facts of the Chinese government's authoritarianism, their persecution of their minority populations, and their international behavior just fine. In fact, they're so economically influential, that I find criticism of them is muted, and tolerance of their crap is high.

Tolerance of US crap is high from bombing civilians with drones using CIA black sites. Putting people on no fly lists for arbiratory reasons. Incarcerating minorities are some of the things that the US government does. So when US agencies say they don't like or trust Chinese tech I understand as they probably have backdoors in a lot of the western tech and when Chinese tech is used they lose the back doors. For most countries using Chinese tech vs Western tech is choosing the spying of 1 or the other.

My answer is the group that definitely has historical and real reasons to dislike you. China doesn't like the west. Never has never will.

It's better to risk being spied on by a country where you have lots of expats working in their tech industry. Having those expats greatly increases the likelihood of someone whistleblowing in your country's favor and someone objecting to abuses in your country's favor.

There are thousands upon thousands of first and second generation Indians working in the US and UK tech industries. There are hardly any working in the Chinese tech industry.

The CEO of Nokia Rajeev Suri is an India-born Singaporean citizen.

Oh, I wasn't arguing against either Nokia or Ericsson. I just think buying from Huawei/China is a terrible idea if you care about your sovereignty.

There is no honest telecom company in that sense. It’s a sensitive and strategic industry.

The question is to whom you would prefer to give this strategic advantage.

Now it looks really bad at us that we are offended from an Asian player after selling our tech to them for many years (well they didn’t had other choices either)

Obviously some 5G components aren’t critical. In that case maybe we must be more open.

What about Switzerland?

I might be wrong, but I cannot think of any prominent Swiss tech companies off the top of my head. They are way more famous for their neutral-good approach in finance, rather than in tech.

I agree with you that they are on the same level of neutral-good as Finland/Sweden when it comes to international relations in general, though.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logitech is Swiss-based, but they don't make 5G hardware :)

Do they have the equivalent of Ericsson (SE) or Nokia (FI)? I think these mobile phone tech companies was what was referred to.

Yep. Honest business dealings such as paying your debts, honoring contracts, enforcing the law, and not being a total unpredictable dick are what, historically, have made nations great.

Corrupt leadership can destroy that trust and hamstring an economy for decades, even centuries.

Although not Ericsson, Bofors had developed some bad habits to help sales.


Its hard to say what makes nations great. The sovereign will always honor their commitments, until they don't :) Because how far back are we willing to go? Most states/kingdoms in Europe have always been at war and there is a long history of reneging under economic strain. (especially wars)

When an entity does not honour their commitments, the money starts going to another entity that appears more trustworthy.

I'm not sure what kind of timelines you have in mind, but the above is clear if you look at the past few hundred of years of European history. Wars, in particular, have been funded by honoured business commitments.

>When an entity does not honour their commitments, the money starts going to another entity that appears more trustworthy.

Sure, but when in crises, people heavily favor the short term gains of reneging or violating an agreement over the loss of potential future opportunities.

Also using your logic, Chinese companies appear to be quite a bit trustworthy since businesses and individuals continue to do repeat business in China, continue to open up new businesses in China/sign new contracts etc, etc, etc. As you can imagine, the real-world is a lot more complex.

>I'm not sure what kind of timelines you have in mind, but the above is clear if you look at the past few hundred of years of European history. Wars, in particular, have been funded by honoured business commitments.

I'm talking about things like the confiscation of wealth/property, as happened under Edward I or Phillip IV, or the Stuart period (where the crown sold off lands to fund wars, and did not honor agreements for borrowed funds) for e.g.

Certainly nation states with their constitutions and laws have helped stem this unilateral 'dictatorial' approach to governance, but I think that its a bit too early to say that nation states will always be rational actors. Certainly the US, for e.g. has violated a lot of treaties that were signed with the native americans.

>Nokia has ever been accused or guilty of spying

Which Nokia timeline are you talking about? The current Nokia HMD which outsources to China and was found to have Chinese botnet in them ?

You seem to misremember what that scandal was about, or maybe you read a particularly hysterical article that misrepresented the situation.

Nokia had accidentally enabled an option intended for phones sold in China with a China Telecom contract. To verify that they were eligible for use with the contract, the phones would connect to China Telecom servers on first use. For the phones that had that option incorrectly enabled, the request failed (because they weren't in China Telecom's database) and was retried relatively frequently. Based on this behavior, the initial report assumed the worst, but in the end it was misconfigured telemetry.

You can call it spyware if you want, but no botnet was involved.

Always ignore intention. Either a device sent data to china (etc) or it didn't. Otherwise you're concerning yourself more with PR than the technical aspect. I don't care why the process allowed exfiltration of data.

Intention matters if you want to know the reason behind the technical details, and whether a similar incident is likely to happen again in the future.

In this case, Nokia likely won't reintroduce an obfuscated version of the leak to evade detection, because it wasn't intentional. On the other hand, it's certainly possible they'll configure a phone for the wrong carrier again, since the configuration process apparently involves passing a bunch of carrier-specific feature flags at build time.

>Sorry we sent your private data, we did not mean it. Can we still be friends?

All telemetry is spyware. Sending telemetry from European users to China is a glorious fuck-up. They deserve to get hurt for that.

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