Basing vital decisions on a logic for which there is supportive evidence might be understandable in the case of irrational and emotive individuals but in the case of the governments this is inexcusable, especially when the consequences represent serious prejudice to segments of the constituency, to general wellbeing and to specific companies. It is even more inexcusable when the pressure to take irrational decisions comes from another country's government, namely the US Administration and, in particular, Mike Pompeo of their Department of State.
The USA falling behind
Many appear to misunderstand what is happening under the Huawei saga. The ITTTF (Information Technology & Telecommunications Task Force) of the European Commission had a very small Applications Development Unit (ADU)1 located in front of Berlaymont, the Commission HQ. The ADU was tasked with identifying future applications on global networks for European Industry. This had a large European pool of experts in IT and application domains. The ADU had been set up in parallel to the massive ESPRIT research programme to respond to the Japanese ICOT Report in the early 1980s announcing the Japan would become the world leader in knowledge engineering (AI) based on the development of 5th generation computing. The US also reacted to the Japanese announcement but to cut a long story short none of these very expensive research programmes produced much. There are many reasons for this but this it not the place to discuss this. The Japanese programme also failed but it is worth noting that Japanese industrial and manufacturing robotics systems which initiated their development at the same time has been a resounding success. This is also something the ADU had identified as a promising field.
From recent briefings from ex-ADU personnel, we understand that the current target of the US administration is any mobile operator that represents competition to US mobile operators who fell well behind in the international mobile customer base league. Top of that list is the international UK mobile operator, Vodafone.
It is necessary to explain how this has come about. In 1986 conversations between people from ADU and Racal-Vodafone (Holdings) Ltd, then based in Newbury ended up with Vodafone becoming involved in one of the important ITTTF spin-offs in the form of GSM the highly successful mobile standard. Vodafone was using it to introduce texting in 1992 (almost 30 years ago). This impulse and standard helped Vodafone become the largest mobile operator in the world. The ADU studies (1986) predicted that China and India would share the largest market segment for mobiles and other global network applications by around 2000. This turned out to be the case with Vodafone still growing but sliding into second position behind large Chinese and Indian operators.
The US grabs low hanging fruit
By 1986 the ADU had produced a detailed list of around 100 useful future AI applications. To date only a small proportion of these have been actually applied. What has emerged as applications are the simpler and somewhat obvious applications dominated by Google, Wikipedia, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and even Cambridge Analytica.
The promise to come
The applications identified by ADU which have by far the most significant impacts of society and the economy are a different class of global network applications. The reality is that the more advanced AI applications that were listed in the ADU work require 5G type capabilities. These need the bandwidth and real time ability to pick up the level of object properties to generate AI applications with a revolutionary value-added and benefit to society and the economy. It is notable that Vodafone is the only company in the UK with a long experience in the use of Huawei technology and are therefore in a strong postition to take up leadership again but more on the valuable applications front.
However, the current State Department's aggressive sanctions-based foreign policy is largely designed to attempt to invert technological trends in this area in order for the USA to obtain a piece of the action. They appear to be aiming to reduce the competition with the lamentable US performance in these fields.
The mistake made by the USA was a failure to detect the global market size for mobiles but made the mistake of assuming the size of the domestic market was sufficient to get their operators down the learning curve. The same mentality was applied to globalization seeing this as a means to import lower cost products to the USA. Because the missed the beat on emerging markets they also fell even further behind on the leading edge technologies because they did not have the critical mass of customer base. Vodafone has been working with Huawei for close to 20 years.
Therefore, the USA have included in their tactics the assertion that Huawei system represent a threat to "Western security" in spite of the fact they have limited experience with these systems. The USA is using any tactic including lobbying MPs who typically then start voicing their "concerns" over the security aspects of Huawei systems. This is something like the "placed" parliamentary questions one so often hears that are so out of the blue and context as to be ridiculous. This parochial, irresponsible, stuffed-brown-paper-bag-energised-activity substitues for rational discussion on the opportunities open for British companies and the economy in in these fields.
According to individuals who were at ADU and who still work in this field, security of telecommunications and network systems is a fairly straightforward affair so the showing of evidence of there being any danger would be easy to demonstrate, if it existed. There are no implications in this field or dangers of "exposing" how the evidence was collected; the normal national security excuse to keep "evidence", which often does not exist, out of sight. So far no one has been able to explain the security risk. If it is spying, well GCHQ, NSA and even social networks mentioned above are all at this game and abusing constitutions and constituencies. But this could be controlled more effectively if only the main political parties were not themselves so emersed in making us of these networks for their own propaganda.
The imposition of the sentence before having seen and considered the evidence
Unfortunately the sycophantic knee jerk reactions of the government to US demands invariably lead to disastrous consequences for the image of the country and the people of Britain. Today, this government, keeps Julian Assange under terrible conditions as a result of illicit US pressure simply because as a journalist he published factual, unaltered documents (the sentence before the evidence and no habeas corpus). The Foreign Office has funded the White Helmets to generate many false flag videos to create excuses to attack Syria (generation of false evidence to attack those thus falsely accused). In the case of Huawei, there is no evidence to support the US pressure and the government is in danger of taking decisions that will deny many in this country from developing the next generation of major mobile and global network applications as a multi £billion activity, for no good reason.
By way of example one class of application nearing design completion in the UK in a single sector service has a potential payback to users of the order of £50 billion on an annual basis. This signifies a ready market for the application of a minimum of around £15-20 billion. This is just one sectoral niche application and there are at least 40 cross sectoral applications for the similar systems.
1At the request of our source, the name of the ITTTF unit has been purposely changed, but the name used describes its actual role.