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Reaction to UK allowing Huawei a role in 5G network

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LONDON (Reuters) – Britain will allow “high risk vendors” like Chinese telecoms giant Huawei a limited role in building its 5G networks, the government said on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: An attendee wears a badge strip with the logo of Huawei and a sign for 5G at the World 5G Exhibition in Beijing, China November 22, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee/File Photo

Below is reaction to the British government’s decisihere

NICKY MORGAN, UK DIGITAL MINISTER

“We want world-class connectivity as soon as possible but this must not be at the expense of our national security. High risk vendors never have been and never will be in our most sensitive networks.

“The government has reviewed the supply chain for telecoms networks and concluded today it is necessary to have tight restrictions on the presence of high risk vendors.”

CIARAN MARTIN, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, UK NATIONAL CYBER SECURITY CENTRE

“This package will ensure that the UK has a very strong, practical and technically sound framework for digital security in the years ahead.

“High-risk vendors have never been – and never will be – in our most sensitive networks.

“Taken together, these measures add up to a very strong framework for digital security.”

U.S. SENATOR TOM COTTON, ARKANSAS REPUBLICAN.

“This decision is deeply disappointing for American supporters of the Special Relationship. I fear London has freed itself from Brussels only to cede sovereignty to Beijing. Allowing Huawei to the build the UK’s 5G networks today is like allowing the KGB to build its telephone network during the Cold War.

“The CCP will now have a foothold to conduct pervasive espionage on British society and has increased economic and political leverage over the United Kingdom. The short-term savings aren’t worth the long-term costs. In light of this decision, the U.S. Director of National Intelligence should conduct a thorough review of U.S.-UK intelligence-sharing.”

VICTOR ZHANG, VICE PRESIDENT, HUAWEI

“Huawei is reassured by the UK government’s confirmation that we can continue working with our customers to keep the 5G roll-out on track. This evidence-based decision will result in a more advanced, more secure and more cost-effective telecoms infrastructure that is fit for the future. It gives the UK access to world-leading technology and ensures a competitive market.”

TRACY BRABIN, UK OPPOSITION LABOUR PARTY SPOKESWOMAN FOR DIGITAL, CULTURE AND MEDIA

“The Tories refused to take our technological sovereignty seriously and failed to invest in home-grown alternatives to Huawei. As a result they’re in the ludicrous position of having to choose between the UK’s security concerns and our infrastructure needs.”

JOHN NICOLSON, SCOTTISH NATIONAL PARTY LAWMAKER

“Many will think that this decision is born out of weakness – it has come about as a result of short termism and decades of under-investment. The prime minister has gone for the cheapest, least secure option, but it doesn’t take a genius to work out why Huawei is so competitive. It is the Chinese communist party branded as a company.”

DAVID DAVIS, UK CONSERVATIVE LAWMAKER AND FORMER BREXIT MINISTER

“I do think Huawei should be banned from our networks. It was founded by a member of the PLA (People’s Liberation Army), even if it were not an arm of Chinese government, a 2017 law requires they take instruction from the Chinese intelligence agency, and in the future the size and the complexity that we are trying to protect against is enormous … I’m afraid the only way to protect our safety is to ban it.”

IAIN DUNCAN SMITH, UK CONSERVATIVE LAWMAKER AND FORMER PARTY LEADER

“I am deeply disappointed in this decision now. I have spoken at length in the past to security officials and they will always tell you that defending in cyber security is a game of catch-up, always catch up against the next algorithm change. You can never guarantee that you spot it, sometimes until too late.”

PENNY MORDAUNT, UK CONSERVATIVE LAWMAKER AND FORMER DEFENCE MINISTER

“Excluding high-risk vendors from any provision is one way we can encourage companies and states that do not operate under international norms and business standards. That is why this decision is regrettable and … this country must never find itself in this position ever again.”

TOM TUGENDHAT, UK CONSERVATIVE FORMER HEAD OF PARLIAMENT’S FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE

“It is very hard for me to welcome (Foreign minister Dominic Raab’s) statement but I recognise the position that he has arrived at from the position he began with … What we really want to see here is we want to see a ban, a cap and a cut.”

MATTHEW FELL, CHIEF UK POLICY DIRECTOR, CONFEDERATION OF BRITISH INDUSTRY (CBI) EMPLOYERS GROUP

“It’s right that the government took its time to assess the merits of Huawei’s involvement in the UK’s 5G network. This solution appears a sensible compromise that gives the UK access to cutting-edge technology, whilst building in appropriate checks and balances around security.”

TIM MORRISON, FORMER U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL OFFICIAL

“Because this announcement appears to depend on the passage of legislation, there is still time for back-benchers in both parties to save the Special Relationship and the privacy rights of Britons if they vote to block this mistake by the government.”

NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER SPEAKER OF U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

“British decision to accept Huawei for 5G is a major defeat for the United (States). How big does Huawei have to get and how many countries have to sign with Huawei for the US government to realize we are losing the internet to China? This is becoming an enormous strategic defeat.”

NIGEL FARAGE, LEADER OF UK’S BREXIT PARTY

“A terrible decision. This is bad for national security, an insult to our closest friends and a sign that our establishment have been paid off by China.”

VODAFONE (VOD.L)

“While Vodafone UK does not use Huawei in its core – the intelligent part of the network – it will now analyse the potential impact of today’s decision on the non-core elements of its network (masts and transmission links).

“Vodafone UK uses a mix of Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia equipment for its 4G and 5G masts, and we continue to believe that the use of a wide range of equipment vendors is the best way to safeguard the delivery of services to all mobile customers.”

Reporting by UK bureau and Alex Alper in WASHINGTON, compiled by Andy Bruce

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.



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MIT CSAIL’s radars map hidden features to help driverless cars navigate snowy terrain

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Inclement weather — particularly rain and snow — threaten to stop autonomous vehicles in their tracks. That’s because precipitation covers cameras critical to the cars’ self-awareness and tricks sensors into perceiving obstacles that aren’t there. Plus, bad weather has a tendency to obscure road signage and structures that normally serve as navigational landmarks.

Fortunately, researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and Lincoln Laboratory are on the case. In a paper that will be published in the journal IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters later this month and presented in May at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), they describe a system that uses ground-penetrating radar (GPR) to send very high frequency (VHF) electromagnetic pulses underground to measure an area’s combination of pipes, roots, rocks, dirt, and other features. The GPR builds a basemap that an onboard computer correlates, contributing to a three-dimensional GPS-tagged subterranean database.

According to paper lead author and CSAIL Ph.D. student Teddy Ort, it’s the first time developers of self-driving systems have employed ground-penetrating radar, which has previously been used in fields like construction planning, landmine detection, and lunar exploration. “If you or I grabbed a shovel and dug it into the ground, all we’re going to see is a bunch of dirt,” he said. “But [localizing ground-penetrating radar] can quantify the specific elements there and compare that to the map it’s already created so that it knows exactly where it is, without needing cameras or lasers.”

MIT CSAIL ground-penetrating radar

Above: A labeled schematic of the GPR sensor.

Image Credit: MIT CSAIL

The researchers found that on a closed country road in snowy conditions the navigation system’s average margin of error was about an inch in snowy conditions compared to in clear weather. The GPR had a bit more trouble with rainy conditions — the precipitation caused more water to soak into the ground, leading to a disparity between the original readings and the current conditions —  but it was off by only an average of 5.5 inches. More impressively, over a six-month testing period, the team never had to take the wheel.

Ort and coauthors note that the approach wouldn’t work entirely on its own since it can’t detect things aboveground. Also, the GPR data sets are currently difficult to stitch together because of aboveground factors like multi-lane roads and intersections, and the current hardware is too bulky and wide to fit into most commercial vehicles.

MIT CSAIL ground-penetrating radar

Above: MIT CSAIL’s car in the snow from the front.

Image Credit: MIT CSAIL

But they say that the GPR could easily be extended to highways and other high-speed areas and that its ability to localize in bad weather means it could possibly be coupled with existing approaches, like cameras and lidar. Another advantage? The system’s underground maps tend to hold up better over time than maps created using vision or lidar, since the features of an aboveground map are much more likely to change. As an added bonus, they take up roughly 20% less space than the traditional 2D sensor maps that many companies use for their cars.

MIT spinout WaveSense, which came out of stealth in August 2018, is already working to commercialize the system. It’s using a version that Lincoln Labs researchers demonstrated could guide an SUV centimeters within a lane on a road freshly coated with snow. This system was first developed for military vehicles in regions with poor or nonexistent road markings.

“Our work demonstrates that this approach is actually a practical way to help self-driving cars navigate poor weather without actually having to be able to ‘see’ in the traditional sense using laser scanners or cameras,” said senior author and MIT professor Daniela Rus.



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Drug dealer loses $58M in Bitcoin after landlord accidentally throws codes out

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gettyimages-887657568

Bitcoin is currently worth over $9,700.


Dan Kitwood/Getty

Between 2011 and 2012, 49-year-old Clifton Collins bought 6,000 Bitcoin using money he earned from growing and selling weed, reports The Irish Times. At the time, the cryptocurrency’s price varied between $4 and $6. Today it stands at over $9,700. But Collins isn’t enjoying any euphoria for the windfall — because his landlord threw out his Bitcoin codes.

The Irish Times reports that Collins was arrested in 2017 for growing and selling weed, and was subsequently hit with a five-year prison sentence. Following this, his landlord sent many of Collins’ possessions to a local dump during the process of clearing out Collins’ room. One such item was a fishing rod case, which housed a pice of A4 paper with €53.6 million ($58 million) in Bitcoin codes printed onto it.

Cryptocurrency is bought through so-called cryptowallets. Once you buy Bitcoin, the cryptowallet issues you a code that’s needed to access it. Anyone who gets that code can access and potentially steal the cryptocurrency, so buyers are usually encouraged to hide their codes somewhere safe.

In 2017, Collins spread his 6,000 Bitcoin across 12 accounts in order to guard against losing his crypto-fortune, according to the Times. He printed out the codes to his Bitcoin stash on a piece of A4 paper, the same paper he stuffed into the aforementioned fishing rod case.

The past few years have seen others lose digital fortunes even greater than Collins’ $58 million. A man in the UK accidentally threw out a hard drive storing $127 million-worth of Bitcoin codes. Gerald Cotten, owner of a Canadian cryptocurrency exchange, died of Crohn’s Disease complications in December 2018, leaving behind $190 million in cryptocurrency for which he had the only password.

In what’s likely little consolation, Collins wouldn’t have been able to cash in his Bitcoin even if the paper hadn’t been lost to the dump. Ireland’s Criminal Asset Bureau seized the cryptocurrency, on the grounds that its purchase was funded by illicit activity, reports The Irish Times.



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Amazon in Holocaust row about ‘Hunters’ series, anti-Semitic books

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WARSAW (Reuters) – The Auschwitz Memorial criticized Amazon on Sunday for fictitious depictions of the Holocaust in its Prime series “Hunters” and for selling books of Nazi propaganda.

Seventy-five years after the liberation of the Nazi German Auschwitz death camp by Soviet troops, world leaders and activists have called for action against rising anti-Semitism.

“Hunters”, released on Friday and starring Al Pacino, features a team of Nazi hunters in 1970s New York who discover that hundreds of escaped Nazis are living in the United States.

However, the series has faced accusations of bad taste, particularly for depicting fictional atrocities in Nazi death camps, such as a game of human chess in which people are killed when a piece is taken.

“Inventing a fake game of human chess for @huntersonprime is not only dangerous foolishness & caricature. It also welcomes future deniers,” the Auschwitz Memorial tweeted.

“We honor the victims by preserving factual accuracy.”

The Auschwitz Memorial is responsible for preserving the Nazi German death camp in southern Poland, where more than 1.1 million people, most of them Jews, perished in gas chambers or from starvation, cold and disease.

The Memorial also criticized Amazon for selling anti-Semitic books.

On Friday, the Memorial retweeted a letter from the Holocaust Educational Trust to Amazon asking that anti-Semitic children’s books by Nazi Julius Streicher, who was executed for crimes against humanity, be removed from sale.

“When you decide to make a profit on selling vicious antisemitic Nazi propaganda published without any critical comment or context, you need to remember that those words led not only to the #Holocaust but also many other hate crimes,” the Auschwitz Memorial tweeted on Sunday.

“As a bookseller, we are mindful of book censorship throughout history, and we do not take this lightly. We believe that providing access to written speech is important, including books that some may find objectionable,” an Amazon spokesman said in a comment emailed to Reuters. Amazon said it would comment on “Hunters” later.

FILE PHOTO: Cast members Al Pacino and Logan Lerman pose at a premiere for the television series “Hunters” in Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 19, 2020. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

In December, Amazon withdrew from sale products decorated with images of Auschwitz, including Christmas decorations, after the Memorial complained.

Separately, prosecutors launched an investigation into a primary school in the town of Labunie, which staged a reenactment of Auschwitz with children dressed as prisoners being gassed, local media reported.

The school is accused of promoting fascism in the performance in December. It could not immediately be reached for comment.

Reporting by Alan Charlish; Additional reporting by Anna Koper; Editing by Giles Elgood

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.



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