Portugal Moves Closer to Banning Chinese Suppliers from 5G

People waiting at the bust stand near the 'MY 5G' advert on a LED screen in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 03 May 2023.  EPA/FAZRY ISMAIL
People waiting at the bust stand near the 'MY 5G' advert on a LED screen in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 03 May 2023. EPA/FAZRY ISMAIL
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Portugal Moves Closer to Banning Chinese Suppliers from 5G

People waiting at the bust stand near the 'MY 5G' advert on a LED screen in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 03 May 2023.  EPA/FAZRY ISMAIL
People waiting at the bust stand near the 'MY 5G' advert on a LED screen in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 03 May 2023. EPA/FAZRY ISMAIL

Portugal's cybersecurity council CSSC has issued a resolution that could formally bar telecom operators from using Chinese equipment in their high-speed 5G mobile networks as well 4G platforms on which the new technology is based.

The CSSC is the prime minister's consultative body and its document, dated May 23, is another blow to efforts by Chinese technology giant Huawei to enter the 5G market in Portugal and possibly extend existing contracts, Reuters reported.

Under a law approved last August, the government can determine "the exclusion, restrictions on use, or the cessation of use of equipment or services" of telecom companies, setting conditions and deadlines for operators to comply.

The government had no immediate comment.

The country's main operators, Altice, NOS and Vodafone have already said they will not use Huawei's equipment in 5G core networks, amid European and US concerns that Chinese involvement in critical infrastructure could compromise security. Beijing and Huawei reject such suggestions.

Portugal's existing 5G networks are not standalone and still largely based on 4G technology and equipment.

Without mentioning China or any Chinese suppliers by name, the CSSC warned of a "high risk" to security from suppliers or providers that "are headquartered in a country where the government exercises control, interference or pressure on its activities in third countries".

Its opinion is based on an undisclosed report that evaluated the safety of equipment in public electronic communications networks involving 5G technology.

It also cited security risks when the country where a supplier is based has no agreements on data protection, cybersecurity or protection of intellectual property with Portugal or the European Union, or when it is not an EU, NATO or OECD member.

Huawei said in a statement it had "no prior knowledge of, and hasn't been consulted about this matter" and it was still gathering information "on the nature of the assessment" and hoped to continue serving Portuguese clients.

Europe has emerged as a battleground in the technology rivalry between Beijing and Washington and Huawei's European competitors, Ericsson and Nokia, could become a supplier duopoly if the Chinese company were shut out.



Google Scraps Plan to Remove Cookies from Chrome

FILED - 09 January 2024, US, Las Vegas: The Google logo can be seen on the Internet company's pavilion at the CES technology trade fair. Photo: Andrej Sokolow/dpa
FILED - 09 January 2024, US, Las Vegas: The Google logo can be seen on the Internet company's pavilion at the CES technology trade fair. Photo: Andrej Sokolow/dpa
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Google Scraps Plan to Remove Cookies from Chrome

FILED - 09 January 2024, US, Las Vegas: The Google logo can be seen on the Internet company's pavilion at the CES technology trade fair. Photo: Andrej Sokolow/dpa
FILED - 09 January 2024, US, Las Vegas: The Google logo can be seen on the Internet company's pavilion at the CES technology trade fair. Photo: Andrej Sokolow/dpa

Google is planning to keep third-party cookies in its Chrome browser, it said on Monday, after years of pledging to phase out the tiny packets of code meant to track users on the internet.
The major reversal follows concerns from advertisers - the company's biggest source of income - saying the loss of cookies in the world's most popular browser will limit their ability to collect information for personalizing ads, making them dependent on Google's user databases, Reuters reported.
The UK's Competition and Markets Authority had also scrutinized Google's plan over concerns it would impede competition in digital advertising.
"Instead of deprecating third-party cookies, we would introduce a new experience in Chrome that lets people make an informed choice that applies across their web browsing, and they'd be able to adjust that choice at any time," Anthony Chavez, vice president of the Google-backed Privacy Sandbox initiative, said in a blog post.
Since 2019, the Alphabet unit has been working on the Privacy Sandbox initiative aimed at enhancing online privacy while supporting digital businesses, with a key goal being the phase-out of third-party cookies.
Cookies are packets of information that allow websites and advertisers to identify individual web surfers and track their browsing habits, but they can also be used for unwanted surveillance.
In the European Union, the use of cookies is governed by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which stipulates that publishers secure explicit consent from users to store their cookies. Major browsers also give the option to delete cookies on command.
Chavez said Google was working with regulators such as the UK's CMA and Information Commissioner's Office as well as publishers and privacy groups on the new approach, while continuing to invest in the Privacy Sandbox program.
The announcement drew mixed reactions.
"Advertising stakeholders will no longer have to prepare to quit third-party cookies cold turkey," eMarketer analyst Evelyn Mitchell-Wolf said in a statement.
Lena Cohen, staff technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said cookies can lead to consumer harm, for instance predatory ads that target vulnerable groups. "Google's decision to continue allowing third-party cookies, despite other major browsers blocking them for years, is a direct consequence of their advertising-driven business model," Cohen said in a statement.