In perhaps one of the most audacious and worrying revelations in the battle for privacy, it's been found that the manufacturing supply chain for a number of servers has been compromised. A Bloomberg investigation reports that servers made in China's technology hub have been tainted with the installation of a tiny chip that can siphon data. At least 30 major tech companies are affected in the sophisticated nation-state attack.
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Huawei is receiving rave reviews for its latest handset, the P20 Pro. Even in the United States, where the phone isn't on sale, reviewers are importing the device to declare it the phone of the year. The praise is understandable - it pushes the camera past its nearest competitors and is arguably the prettiest phone ever built.
And yet... I find it difficult to wholeheartedly recommend this phone in the current climate.
New cybersecurity laws introduced in China make it harder for global companies to store data pertaining to Chinese nationals. And although cloud providers have set up data centres in countries that require citizen data to remain onshore, Amazon and other providers are taking steps to sell their hardware assets to Chinese companies.
Just a couple of days ago, Apple started removing VPN apps from the iOS App Store in China, in response to changing Chinese laws. Now Russia has joined the party, banning VPNs and proxies that allow citizens to access banned sites. It seems that North Korea's limited 28-site Internet might not be such an outrider in years to come.