Friday, August 2, 2013

UK Net Filter to Be Controlled By Chinese Firm Huawei

It was announced that the new internet filter for the United Kingdom, known as HomeSafe, being pushed by Britain's Prime Minister will be run by the Chinese firm Huawei. The system has fallen under some scrutiny by US and UK politicians alike, according to the BBC.

The concern has been raised due to the close ties the company holds to the Chinese government and the lack of ministerial oversight of the rapid expansion of the company throughout UK infrastructure. The company was founded by Ren Zhengfei, a former officer in China's People's Liberation Army, which has also raised concerns that the company may be politically motivated and not just commercially so. Huawei has also been labeled a threat to national security by US intelligence committees.

An additional concern for many people is the fact that, even if you are opted out of the HomeSafe filtering, your searches and browsing are still sent through the Huawei databases causing many people to consider VPN services to ensure their privacy and access. Legitimate sites being blacklisted are also a concern as the system is automated and may blacklist sites that do not meet actual blacklist criteria.

The legislation is set to be passed through by the end of 2013. Making all ISPs within the UK compliant by mid-2014.