Time to sound the alarm about 5G?

My grandmother cooked in her kitchen on a wood-burning stove until, at 92 years of age, she passed away.  Wood stove technology is not as simple as some people think.  We may have to learn it all over again.  Here is why:

I recently read an online article about something called 5G and became aware that this innovation will potentially enable any large government, our own or our adversaries, to spy, hack, sabotage or otherwise wreak havoc on the entire world infrastructure of communication and security.  This is not hyperbole.  It is as real as nuclear bombs, and if not as destructive, it poses almost as deadly a threat.  Indeed, the 5G cyber-war might well spark a nuclear conflagration.

The network on which cell phones operate is being upgraded.  That innovation will, as they say, usher in a new age of vast potential.  It can also be weaponized against us.  An enemy could plunge us back into the dark ages.

Is this for real?  Apparently, very serious authorities are concerned.  The biggest internet tech companies are already accruing surveillance powers that rival those of our own government, and in all likelihood, exceed them.  Worse yet, many of those companies are hostile to our nation, refusing to assist our military, while eagerly aiding the foreign dictatorships that threaten our freedoms.

It is difficult to state the problem without sounding like chicken-little, or like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D), who claims that the world will end in twelve years.

It may, but not because of climate-change, which we cannot remedy, but because China's dictator-for-life is methodically developing the technological power to dictate to the world.  If he succeeds, the world may not end, but it may as well.

At or near the center of this geopolitical storm is the Chinese company called Huawei.  The thing to bear in mind is that, in China, there are no truly private-enterprise companies.  There are only government agencies disguised as companies.  Huawei marches in lock-step with its dictator and his military, political and police-state apparatus.  Nobody in China dares to stray one inch from the party line.  To do so is certain death.

Huawei manufactures the hardware that enables the 5G network to operate.  Intentionally built in to that hardware is a Trojan Horse, the ability to spy, to monitor, and indeed, even to hack into our most secret agencies.  Worse yet, Huawei's hardware can sabotage our systems, for example, at a critical moment, by "turning off" our ability to communicate between our agencies, including our military units worldwide.

Huawei denies any intention, or any ability, to do this.  "Our responsibility," they say, "what we promise, is that we don't do anything bad.  We don't do bad things[.] ... Here, let me say this as clearly as possible: Huawei has not and will never plant backdoors. And we will never allow anyone to do so in our equipment. We take this responsibility very seriously."

Of course they do (sarcasm, obviously).

Attempts are being made to lock China out from achieving inroads that can penetrate our internet, but efforts to do so are tepid and uncoordinated.  Frighteningly, the US government is locking itself out of this effort by turning it over to private enterprise, such as the technology companies — you know them, the ones that refuse to unlock terrorist cell phones so that the FBI can prevent mass murder attacks on our citizens.  Yes, those companies.  We might as well outsource NORAD, the military agency that operates our Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles, because the cyberwarfare threat is, without much exaggeration, as lethal as incoming nuclear missiles.

The European Union, meaning NATO as well, is eagerly buying up Huawei's products.  The price is, you see, very affordable.  The cost will be another matter.  Our problem with that is that our military communications intersect with the E.U.'s, meaning that China will have an easy avenue into our signals technology.

Nor can we confine our attention to nation-states.  Terrorist groups, criminal cabals, and even individual hackers will have an unknown degree of destructive access to 5G networks.

Some alarmists claim that the technology has already gotten away from us.  The internet of things will be impossible to control, they say.  It is not an imaginary science fiction scenario that, with the flip of a switch, every automobile in the United States could suddenly and without warning be "turned off," all their engines stopped, their radios disabled, all by a malevolent saboteur.  And that would be only the beginning of the doomsday "fire sale."

If that happens, we might all return to cooking with wood-burning stoves, but without Grandma to show us how.

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