The Free Software Foundation Europe has said the recent controversy surrounding Huawei shows governments and consumers don’t trust tech giants. However, FSFE believes one potential fix would be for companies to publish code through the Free and Open Source Software license.
Huawei has been a long-time target of regulators around the world. The company is believed to be using its technology to backdoor spy for the Chinese government. There is an ongoing debate around Huawei’s 5G networks and concerns over privacy.
Canada could block Huawei 5G and the Chinese government has responded. It seems China suspects Huawei will be blocked, and the country’s ambassador said Ottawa will face repercussions if a bad is imposed.
Canadian authorities have dismissed all threats that have come from China since a high-level Huawei executive (Meng Wanzhou, daughter of Huawei’s founder and current CFO) was arrested in Vancouver in December. The official was detained by Canadian police on an extradition warrant from the United States.
Open Source 5G
The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) says it is rare for an open conversation on the open sourcing of code:
“Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) welcomes that the importance of source code is recognized but is afraid that the proposed solution falls too short. Allowing inspection of the secret code by selected authorities and telephone companies might help in this specific case, but will not solve the general problem.”
FSFE wants all 5G code to be published under a Free and Open Source Software license. The group says doing so will promote trust. Such a license gives anyone to use, share, improve, and monitor technology code.
“On this basis, everyone can inspect the code, not only for backdoors, but for all security risks. Only these freedoms allow for independent and continuous security audits which will lead citizens, the economy, and the public sector to trust their communication and data exchange.”