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Is China Wiring Africa For Surveillance?

samzenpus posted about 9 months ago | from the I-see-you dept.

China 196

Daniel_Stuckey writes "Huawei has invested billions of dollars in Africa over the last two decades, providing affordable cell phones, internet access, and telecommunications networks to the continent. Over the last few months Huawei has closed major deals in Africa to get more areas on the grid. The company says it's bridging the digital divide, but others suspect it's wiring the continent for surveillance."

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196 comments

Exfiltrate Africa? (1, Insightful)

Shavano (2541114) | about 9 months ago | (#44453691)

I guess if it comes for free, that's one thing, but how much money do you think China wants to invest exfiltrating data from Africa as opposed to their first-world competitors?

Re:Exfiltrate Africa? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44453895)

I think you just wanted an excuse to use the mostly unknown word "exfiltrate." Your post doesn't actually say anything at all.....

Re:Exfiltrate Africa? (4, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 9 months ago | (#44453927)

The NSA, facebook, and google seem to demonstrate that spying on everyone requires shockingly little investment and gets good returns even when you don't know exactly what you want to find in your spying.

Plus, there seem to be a lot of stuff that is worth knowing. There's oil and other natural resources in Africa, right? Seems like intercepting geological reports within western companies, or whoever, about where the oil might be could be very advantageous to China.

Re:Exfiltrate Africa? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44453999)

As an Australian in the Oil&Gas (and previously the mining) industry, the main reason Australia's economy is so big right now is because it's more expensive and dangerous to rip the shit outta Africa and Brazil.

Once China (the biggest importer of iron by a long way) nail that down, I'll need to expatriate or be out of a job. Providing digital-age tools and infrastructure to Africa is an incredibly smart move for China.

Re:Exfiltrate Africa? (2)

c0lo (1497653) | about 9 months ago | (#44454125)

...I'll need to expatriate or be out of a job. Providing digital-age tools and infrastructure to Africa is an incredibly smart move for China.

See? You already know where to apply for immigration (I bet the NBN is going to take longer to build).

Re:Exfiltrate Africa? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 9 months ago | (#44454101)

dunno.. you could wire up 20% of africa for gratis with the NSA budget.

Re:Exfiltrate Africa? (3, Interesting)

c0lo (1497653) | about 9 months ago | (#44454131)

dunno.. you could wire up 20% of africa for gratis with the NSA budget.

Not going to happen, it wouldn't help a bit the US defence industry.

Re:Exfiltrate Africa? (4, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 9 months ago | (#44453955)

I guess if it comes for free, that's one thing, but how much money do you think China wants to invest exfiltrating data from Africa as opposed to their first-world competitors?

Right. Because first-world companies don't do any business in Africa.

Alternatively, China is investing in Africa for the long haul, because China desperately wants access to Africa's vast natural resources. Many African Governments include infrastructure projects as a requirement for Chinese acquisitions or in trade deals with China.

Re:Exfiltrate Africa? (4, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about 9 months ago | (#44454109)

Maybe Huawei is finding itself shut out of western markets for fear of backdoors and stolen code, that the best market they can find is selling to their own government's aid programs.

Re:Exfiltrate Africa? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44454307)

Huawei employee here (non-chinese, btw).

Huawei is not being shut out of "western" markets, with the exception of the US. Huawei has an extensive deployment of radio, wireless access, packet switching and core systems across Europe and Latinamerica. A good portion of what 3G and LTE networks in both sides of the Atlantic for any operator you care to mention is using Huawei sytems.

I must recognise, though, that laws and regulations (both in telecom proper and labour areas) make it easier for Huawei in african countries than they do elsewhere.

Huawei is *not* a multinational company with its headquarters in China, it is a Chinese company with offices all over the world. Big difference. All decision-making is either done from China or by chinese PHBs abroad; and many of them can't seem to get that they are not in China (when in Europe, for instance) and they want to do things in their own way, which is proving to be easier in (some) african countries.

IMO, yes, Huawei is wiring Africa for its own purposes...and that may involve surveillance.

Re:Exfiltrate Africa? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44454123)

More /. paranoia over a company that has been "suspected" and it seems to be even more so since Obama has been in the white house, but it "seemed", when republicans were in the white house it wasn't as big a deal.

  If Africa cannot get itself together they have an opportunity to grow and become a whole country. And considering the wars and infighting going on in Africa and the fact that the US and other countries are abusing Africa for its resources (what a shock) however they refuse to step in and stop the terror that has plagued the country for years.

And just because other countries companies including the US are in Africa doesn't mean China is going to find out anything they already know.

Re:Exfiltrate Africa? (1)

Camael (1048726) | about 9 months ago | (#44454243)

I guess if it comes for free, that's one thing, but how much money do you think China wants to invest exfiltrating data from Africa as opposed to their first-world competitors?

Why don't you ask the NSA? They could probably tell you.

But there's nothing to listen to in Africa (4, Insightful)

mveloso (325617) | about 9 months ago | (#44453695)

Nobody cares enough about Africa to listen in on them. The only thing Africa has is resources, and China already is buying them. Is the infrastructure subject to surveillance? Sure, but every infrastructure is, even heterogeneous ones like the US.

Re:But there's nothing to listen to in Africa (3, Interesting)

buildslave (875173) | about 9 months ago | (#44453791)

Maybe their trying to protect their resources. There has been trouble at some of the Chinese run mines. If they had good surveillance maybe they could prevent some of the 'trouble' that they have had.

Re:But there's nothing to listen to in Africa (4, Insightful)

AHuxley (892839) | about 9 months ago | (#44453855)

Resources need deals signed with local leaders. Smart local experts will chatter about the quality of the deal, some been more into nationalism and patriotism than any bribe can alter.
They will do the math with the local press - the cost of a university, hospital, roads, new mines, power, rail vs the true long term total export value.
Such experts and their press contacts need to be found and shown the error of their ways.
Any African country doing huge deals with a France, UK, USA, Russia knows the part they have to play. Empty ships arrive, full ships depart, the local leadership is looked after and a few locals get jobs.
You had South Africa, Cuba, East Germany all playing the aid/spy card too.
Vietnam, China mostly went for long term farm aid and very long term friendship.
The visions of Moscow, London and Washington have usually been the same, influence, shared mil bases, listening stations, blocking China/France/Japan.
What can leaders in Africa do?
Sell out to mines/oil backed by US banks and loans with a few nice people from MI6/CIA to ensure its stays good.
Sell out to mines/oil backed by Russian loans with a few nice people from FSB/KGB to ensure its all good.
Sell out to mines/oil backed by China with a lots of nice new experts, workers and useful infrastructure ensure its all good.
Add in arms dealers, political and faith based groups who feel timber, oil, gems and strategic minerals are much better looked after in Paris, London, Washington.
So you have a lot of groups who dont want the locals getting too vocal.

Re:But there's nothing to listen to in Africa (3, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 9 months ago | (#44453925)

Nobody cares enough about Africa to listen in on them.

Even if you're right, it could be part of a longer-term strategy to insinuate themselves everywhere they can, with the prospect of future spread once established.

Also... surely you're not suggesting that the NSF isn't listening in on Africa.

Re:But there's nothing to listen to in Africa (1)

dmbasso (1052166) | about 9 months ago | (#44453995)

Also... surely you're not suggesting that the NSF isn't listening in on Africa.

For the good of all of us. Except the ones who are dead.

Re:But there's nothing to listen to in Africa (3, Funny)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about 9 months ago | (#44454117)

So that's where all the grant money's been going...

Re:But there's nothing to listen to in Africa (3, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | about 9 months ago | (#44454139)

It's a long term strategy to extract profit from Africa. Just because people from the US wouldn't go there because 15% profit is too hard, doesn't mean China isn't there making 5% profit and positioning themselves for a bigger profit later

Re:But there's nothing to listen to in Africa (3, Insightful)

H0p313ss (811249) | about 9 months ago | (#44454223)

It's a long term strategy to extract profit from Africa. Just because people from the US wouldn't go there because 15% profit is too hard, doesn't mean China isn't there making 5% profit and positioning themselves for a bigger profit later

Bingo, and then turning around and using those profits to buy African resources.

Re:But there's nothing to listen to in Africa (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 9 months ago | (#44454267)

And they are going to turn the African resources into mind control devices, and take over the world. Pinko commie and the Brain.

Re:But there's nothing to listen to in Africa (3, Insightful)

cold fjord (826450) | about 9 months ago | (#44453935)

Nobody cares enough about Africa to listen in on them. The only thing Africa has is resources, and China already is buying them. Is the infrastructure subject to surveillance? Sure, but every infrastructure is, even heterogeneous ones like the US.

So, nothing to see in Africa? Just move along? I don't think so.

Just like Europe, South America, and Asia, Africa is an entire continent of nations, some of which have drawn considerable attention in the last couple of years. I assume you've heard of Libya? Egypt? Algeria? South Africa? There is a lot going on in Africa, and the Chinese are heavily involved. There are plenty of things they might want to listen to.

Africa has more mobile phone users than the U.S. or E.U. [smartplanet.com]
How mobile phones are making cash obsolete in Africa [theglobeandmail.com]
European Rocket Launches 2 African Satellites [space.com]

China and Africa: What the U.S. doesn't understand [cnn.com]

Seven out of the world's 10 fastest growing economies are African. According to a 2010 report by consulting firm McKinsey & Company, the rate of return on foreign investments in Africa was, in the first decade of this century, higher than in any other region. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected that Africa is now growing faster than Asia.

Sino-African trade volumes have grown accordingly. Negligible in 2000, trade hit $198.5 billion in 2012. By comparison, U.S.-Africa trade volume was $108.9 billon, and is slated to fall further behind: Research from Standard Chartered estimates that trade between China and Africa will hit $385 billion by 2015

MAP: Here Are All Of The Big Chinese Investments In Africa Since 2010 [businessinsider.com]
China’s Increasing Interest in Africa: Benign but Hardly Altruistic [brookings.edu]

South Africa Could Have a Spaceport [spacetoday.org]

The Republic of South Africa has considered using Israel's Shavit space booster to send a satellite to orbit. The South Africans have tested the Israeli Jericho 2 intermediate-range ballistic missile which converts to the Shavit space rocket.

International Effort Seeks to Counter Jihadists in Africa [nytimes.com]

China To Establish A Naval Base Around Somalia [newstimeafrica.com]

As the threat of piracy continues. And as Somali pirates continue with their awkward trade to kidnap foreign ships, a Chinese Admiral has revealed China’s proposal to establish a naval base in the region in its commitment to thwart piracy and finally end this tragedy in the gulf of Eden. The lazy pirates who have no intentions to pursue an education or employment see piracy as an easy way to make money. About 75% of piracy in the region is being masterminded by terror groups to finance their illegal activities.

Rear Admiral Yin Zhou’s, a senior Chinese naval officer has suggested that China will establish a permanent base in the Gulf of Aden to aid its anti-piracy operations. The proposal was posted on China’s Defence ministry website. The Admiral went on to say that supplying and maintaining the fleet off Somalia was challenging without such a base, and said other nations were unlikely to object. The Chinese navy currently has no overseas bases, but media outlets and forums in China are calling for this to change. On Monday, a Chinese cargo ship and its crew of 25 were rescued from Somali pirates on Monday, and a $4m ransom was paid to their kidnappers.

China increasing military presence in Indian Ocean [defencetalk.com]

Beijing’s efforts to keep its trade safe are not confined to the high seas. On the African continent China has set up a raft of cooperation ventures in an attempt to secure its investment zones. Somalia, which has been at war for the past two decades, is “of crucial importance for China,” Holslag said. Beijing has promised Uganda 2.3 million dollars towards covering the cost of its troops in the African Union force in Somalia (AMISOM). “Not only is Beijing well aware that the failed state is a sanctuary for pirates that threaten its merchant and fishery fleet in the Indian Ocean; it also considers it to be an important source of instability and terrorism in other African countries where it has large economic interests,” Holslag said. He noted China “is making eyes at the oil reserves in Ethiopia” and private Chinese firms have started linking up the Ethiopian hinterland to the port of Berbera in the breakaway region of Somaliland. “China has almost permanent exchanges with officials from Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somaliland on security in the Horn,” he said. Both Washington and New Delhi, already concerned about China’s activities in the Pacific, take a dim view of its ambitions in the Indian Ocean.

China's 'Combat Troops' in Africa [foreignpolicy.com]

For the second time in a little over a year, China has infantry on the ground in Africa, reflecting the Chinese military's increasingly global presence. 395 peacekeepers from the People's Liberation Army just arrived in the Saharan nation of Mali as part of the U.N. mission to help restore order there. Specifically, Beijing has sent engineering, medical and "guard" teams to the Malian capital of Bamako, according to the Chinese defense ministry. These troops are reportedly part of the PLA's 16th Army, a formation comprised of infantry, armor and artillery divisions.

China supplying Africa with guns [globalpost.com]

I have a hard time believing you are serious.

Re:But there's nothing to listen to in Africa (3, Insightful)

AHuxley (892839) | about 9 months ago | (#44454005)

China is doing nothing the old Colonial powers did not do Cold - just way more smart.
The difference is China and Vietnam started long along in the 1960's with basic food aid, farming help, infrastructure and reaching out to the local postcolonial leadership.
The West was very busy with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CIA_activities_in_Africa [wikipedia.org]
Africa can recall that part of their history, the small wars the US and Soviets played.
Most in Africa recall the support for Apartheid (until the near end), the death of Patrice Lumumba, NGO's, missionaries, arms deals and endless easy US $ loans.
China is working long term on its "cooperation ventures", real engineering, medical experts, roads for minerals, oil, gems, timber, food - not just arms deals, faith, more loans and super safe bank accounts.

Re:But there's nothing to listen to in Africa (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 9 months ago | (#44454159)

South Africa Could Have a Spaceport

Somalia and Kenya would be better places for a spaceport. More initial velocity. We should also be placing a space elevator there, better weather for it than South America.

Re:But there's nothing to listen to in Africa (3, Insightful)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 9 months ago | (#44453953)

Nobody cares enough about Africa to listen in on them. The only thing Africa has is resources, and China already is buying them. Is the infrastructure subject to surveillance? Sure, but every infrastructure is, even heterogeneous ones like the US.

Resource deals are better facilitated if you can spy on the other side and listen to what they're holding out on and such. Makes sense for China to learn what the real price the seller wants versus what they negotiate for. If you know the other side is bluffing, it makes exploitation much easier.

Second, if they become heavily invested in infrastructure, China's planning for the future. They know China won't be the cheap manufacturing base forever, and it will be Africa next. Well, those manufacturing bases need infrastructure, and what better way to spy on competitors than having the entire nation wired with your spy gear?

I for once.. (1)

formfeed (703859) | about 9 months ago | (#44454013)

... welcome our new Chinese overlords.

You see, as the widow of the late Jacob Bugarundi, minister of mining, I have been looking for assistance to kindly help me transfer money from secret diamond sales from my account to yours. But after repeated attempts failed to contact trusted friends in Western countries, I now see new hope with good men Chinese investors.

Re:But there's nothing to listen to in Africa (2)

mitcheli (894743) | about 9 months ago | (#44454025)

The belief that "nobody cares enough about Africa" would be a mistake. Africa has many developing technological sectors and many developing industries. Furthermore, Africa is poised to have one of the largest population explosions in modern history. As a result, there's a very good chance that Africa will be a much more significant player on the field in the decades to come. ... The entire US fits in the Horn of Africa. You really don't get an idea of how big Africa is until you try to fly across it. And with a pending massive population explosion pending, they'll out populate the US several times over as well.

Re:But there's nothing to listen to in Africa (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about 9 months ago | (#44454129)

I'm pretty sure you're making shit up, since the US is almost 5 times larger than the horn of Africa.

Re:But there's nothing to listen to in Africa (1)

mitcheli (894743) | about 9 months ago | (#44454029)

Keep in mind that a bulk of the Arab Spring happened in Northern Africa. As too did the Benghazi attack.

Re:But there's nothing to listen to in Africa (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44454171)

-5 Stupid and Ignorant. Africa is basically the future's China; it is the next labor resource. It's also the next frontier.

Africa is the largest supplier of Europe's natural resources. Even still, most of their resources remain untapped. In the next two decades, a large focus is going to be around Algeria, Mauritania, Mali, and Niger as they are rich in resources and exploitable in labor.

Having a all-seeing framework and presence in place would give an advantage to China.

The best line in the article (2)

misophist (465263) | about 9 months ago | (#44453707)

"Hmm, government backdoor access to data through communications technology. Where would the NSA get an idea like that?"

Talk about throwing rocks in glass houses!

Re:The best line in the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44453745)

DDR: Alpha site. Failed under the weight of its own bureaucracy.
PRC: Beta site. The Great Firewall was built with CSCO gear back in the day. Demonstrated scalability and practical implementation, but was limited by processing power to censorship/blocking of politically-inappropriate view.
USA: Production model. Every packet captured from everyone for (short period of time, long enough to scan for interesting things), interesting things kept forever, just in case they come in handy someday. Sufficient processing power and data storage to "let a thousand flowers bloom," and pick the ones that distinguish themselves.

Re:The best line in the article (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about 9 months ago | (#44453767)

"Hmm, government backdoor access to data through communications technology. Where would the NSA get an idea like that?"

Talk about throwing rocks in glass houses!

And a powerful throw, come to that. TFA:

Each time the company [Huawei] has denied the allegations, and government investigations consistently fail to turn up any hard evidence.

So, NSA would have the technical ability and all the interest in the world to demonstrate it.
As they didn't, I suspect that the only "rational" explanation is they got sidetracked into... ummm... Of course, the very hypothesis that's nothing to be found in the first place is preposterous, the US govt told us so! As they also told us they're not spying on us... yea, well... spying just a little but for our own good... 'Cause, you see, sucking Africa dry of their precious data is what those chinese want, see? Be afraid, be very afraid of it...

Usual Slashdot China bashing (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44453711)

China is the greatest enemy of the USA, and ALL major US military planning is designed for future conflict between these two powers. So, no surprise then that the owners of Slashdot ensure a constant stream of articles attacking China. Attack Iran, attack China, praise Israel. Is there anyone here so thick that they do not notice this tedious pattern?

PS do the owners of Slashdot still prevent citizens of Iran from accessing the open-source websites they also control. And NO, there is no US law requiring this.

Re:Usual Slashdot China bashing (1)

GigaplexNZ (1233886) | about 9 months ago | (#44453807)

Minor nitpick - China is arguably USAs greatest identifiable "enemy" (perhaps threat or rival is a better term here). The terrorists are probably a bigger threat. Heck, they do a pretty good job of screwing themselves over, who needs enemies?

Re:Usual Slashdot China bashing (2)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 9 months ago | (#44453809)

...do the owners of Slashdot still prevent citizens of Iran from accessing the open-source websites...

That is truly disgusting [arabcrunch.com]!

Re:Usual Slashdot China bashing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44453945)

Cry moar? Or maybe you could develop an alternative site on a non-US hosted server that is open to those countries, if it make you so upset. Or you could just bitch on /. which is always oh so effective....

Re:Usual Slashdot China bashing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44453845)

The USA's greatest enemy is the London financial centers.

Re:Usual Slashdot China bashing (3, Insightful)

obarthelemy (160321) | about 9 months ago | (#44453877)

I'd say the USA is the greatest enemy of the USA. If the madness don't stop soon, the 1% will have sucked the 99% so dry the USA will be a dessicated husk.

Re:Usual Slashdot China bashing (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 9 months ago | (#44453899)

I'd say the USA is the greatest enemy of the USA. If the madness don't stop soon, the 1% will have sucked the 99% so dry the USA will be a dessicated husk.

Maybe China is planning ahead for when that 1% discard that husk and move on to Africa.

Re:Usual Slashdot China bashing (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about 9 months ago | (#44453907)

Not to mention that the US managed to piss off the rest of the world enough that as soon as (not if, not even when) the collapse comes, few will come for a "US aid" but rather breath a sigh of relief. Yes, even and especially the countries that now suck up to it, pretending to be a buddy.

Think of the school bully getting expelled. Even his lackeys are usually finally happy that he's gone.

Re:Usual Slashdot China bashing (-1, Troll)

kcelery (410487) | about 9 months ago | (#44454149)

It said in the bible, the trouble maker is in the east. No doubt these China man are bad guys.

Even after the pearl harbor event happened half a century ago.

It must be Chinese, no doubt about it.

bridging the digital divide == wiring for... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44453713)

Is China Wiring Africa For Surveillance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44453723)

No they aren't. Just same as they don't do crazy APT shit.

Just same as US can't even imagine doing legit business without employing coercion or fucking with other countries networks.

Stop with the FUD.

NSA upset they can't place their own back doors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44453755)

Cisco, Lucent etc. probably play ball with NSA. Huawei maybe not so much. No wonder NSA is uspset.

Re:NSA upset they can't place their own back doors (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 9 months ago | (#44453971)

Libya was going to offer cheap, African telco options with its cash help for a Pan-African satellite.
Less EU cash flow per call and the tracking options via the EU for African calls would have been less easy.
Now other firms are going to re connect Africa away from the USA and EU.....
Wont someone think of the need to track the digital generations, they might learn about the market value of their mineral exports.

Re:NSA upset they can't place their own back doors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44454175)

All the Huawei scare stories are almost certainly the result of lobbying on the part of Cisco. If the NSA is willing to put out stories about your competitors does that make it more or less likely that you will backdoor your equipment for them to say thank you?

Meanwhile I see about 5 times more Mikrotik equipment than anything else in the big South African internet exchange point I use. Maybe its those crazy Latvians we need to worry about?

Others suspect... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44453761)

Who, the NSA believes their are losing ground?

it's about time (5, Funny)

clovis (4684) | about 9 months ago | (#44453769)

It's about time somebody started spying on Africa.
Everytime they have a TV show about Africa, it's just a bunch of f**king lions and elephants. Where are all the people?
What the heck's going on there? It's about time somebody found out.

Re:it's about time (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44453823)

Lots of warlords fighting over control of petty amounts of land, cannibalism, rape, starvation, poverty, AIDS, UN forces having sex with children, slaves,.... Not that all of Africa is like that, of course, but if anything needs to be on TV, it's that.

Grandpa! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44453909)

Dammit Grandpa! How did you get out of the retirement home again? What's with the pith helmet and why are you talking about Wild Kingdom again? We've gotta get your 4 digit UID ass back to the home before we have to go to court AGAIN.

Re:it's about time (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 9 months ago | (#44453987)

Everytime they have a TV show about Africa, it's just a bunch of f**king lions and elephants. Where are all the people?
What the heck's going on there? It's about time somebody found out.

That was then [youtube.com], this is now [youtube.com].

You forgot to tell people to stay off your veldt.

Re:it's about time (1)

kcelery (410487) | about 9 months ago | (#44454163)

commander: "agent A, can you hear anything?"
agent A: "Loud and clear."
commander: "What is the message?"
agent A: "wah ding du boo boo ju."
commander: "What does that mean?"
agent A: "Some kind of African language, I guess. How would I know?"

What are they doing? (1)

kawabago (551139) | about 9 months ago | (#44454199)

The burgeoning population is stripping the lands and forests of everything that can be eaten.

Different approaches to aid (5, Interesting)

stungod (137601) | about 9 months ago | (#44453779)

About 4 years ago, I took a trip to Ethiopia. One guy I talked to there was the head of an aid organization that helped build infrastructure in the more rural parts of the country. He explained to me that while the Western countries like the US, Germany, the UK, etc donated money to local organizations, the Chinese preferred to come in and do the job themselves. It saves on the corruption and waste, and they get to build a positive impression themselves. So you see lots of Chinese companies there building roads, burying cable, building farms/industry, etc.

He told me they had the right idea. The Chinese are *investing* in Africa as opposed to donating to it. That's going to have a long-term impact on who has more influence in Africa. So yeah, they're going to build surveillance...they're building the infrastructure. If we wanted to stop them, we'd go start building too.

Re:Different approaches to aid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44453841)

That's because the US policy in Africa is permanent destabilization. It knows that China needs Africa's resources, and actively resists any attempts to develop the continent to keep China from gaining much of a foothold.

Please, China: keep wiring Africa. You're laying the groundwork for a future world superpower beholden to you.

Re:Different approaches to aid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44453915)

> If we wanted to stop them

Why? Why would you want to do that?

Why do you consider you have the right?

The chinese don't the duty to colonize africa, but the US (read: US plus blackmailed countries) sure as fuck has no right to stop them.

Re:Different approaches to aid (5, Insightful)

rahvin112 (446269) | about 9 months ago | (#44453919)

It's Chinese colonialism. They are doing EXACTLY what the Europeans did. Just like the Europeans the Africans will be happy to allow them until they realize none of the jobs are going to them and that the infrastructure is simply to facilitate resource exploitation, just like the Europeans.

Re:Different approaches to aid (1)

guardiangod (880192) | about 9 months ago | (#44454017)

Maybe, but from what I've heard, Africans much prefer western aids.
 
Westerners just drop their pile of money on the Africans' door and tell the Africans to save themselves with it.
 
Chinese on the other hand distributes/build the aids themselves with lots of strings attach (nothing evil, mind you, just enough to make sure that both the Chinese and Africians get their money's worth.)
 
To the Africans, they see Chinese' policy as an intrusion.

Re:Different approaches to aid (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44454197)

As a South African...

Firstly we will take from whoever gives it. Our politicians whine about western politicians as much as they do about the Chinese. The Chinese typically care about business more than they do about politics which makes them easier to work with. Other than stopping the Dalai Lama from visiting our country I can't think of any other strings they've pulled publicly.

Re:Different approaches to aid (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44454055)

My friend from Germany went there and dug wells in the 70s and 80s. What happened to them? They got destroyed by warlords without people even lifting a finger to protect them.

Africans had over a thousand years of contact with the more advanced muslim world and yet still didn't utilize the wheel or the alphabet at the time of colonization. And now we're trying to give them modern amenities?

Fuck them. IQ tests show their inferior and they can't even build anything more than a backwards ass "civilization". There is no "right" approach other than to leave it the fuck alone.

so? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44453801)

it seems everyone's spying on everything everyone says anyway the who and where doesn't matter anymore almost

huawei bluez (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44453843)

when the Australian broadband network put out tenders, Huawei was not allowed to bid for any contracts. there's a bloody good reason why: the Australian government knows that Huawei are putting in back doors into hardware. there's plenty of proof. for example: buy a Huawei usb dongle modem, watch your firewall and count the amount of times it talks back to chinatelecom. once you see the pattern, it's easy to block the dongle from communicating back to China. I think everyone should be concerned that an arm of the PLR are installing comms equipment anywhere in the world. Huawei haven proven themselves over and over again that they cannot be trusted.

Re:huawei bluez (1)

_merlin (160982) | about 9 months ago | (#44454043)

Lolwut? If it was a backdoor you wouldn't see that on your computer's firewall because it would be done from withing the HSPA modem itself, on the outboard side of the USB port, beyond the firewall. I hate to break it to you, but something on your computer is connecting to these evil Chinese IP addresses. You should probably work out what it is before it turns your computer Communist.

(Yes, I do have a Huawei HSPA modem; no it doesn't connect to Chinese IP addresses in any way visible through a firewall on the computer; no I haven't tried tapping the air interface to check for actual hardware backdoors; no I don't believe China is out to get me or the parent.)

Re:huawei bluez (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44454211)

The Huawei block was instigated by Cisco. If you can't compete on price find a way to have your competitor excluded.

Re:huawei bluez (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 9 months ago | (#44454237)

They have only ever put one back door in their hardware. They copied Cisco's IOS so thoroughly that they copied Cisco's backdoor. When notified, they removed it. Cisco just moved it so it was hidden again. Huawei is looked at so closely that if they ship an actual back door, it's found instantly and documented and published. Cisco got away with it for years.

That you don't know what a driver auto-update looks like in Windows firewall isn't proof of wrongdoing.

It could be worse (4, Insightful)

obarthelemy (160321) | about 9 months ago | (#44453863)

They could be propping up regimes that routinely use torture and abuse human rights, and randomly killing innocents with drones. But then there'd be nothing left for the US to do...

Re:It could be worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44453923)

FAIL Troll is FAIL!

Re:It could be worse (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 9 months ago | (#44454247)

Spoiler Alert: China does trade with regimes that routinely use torture and abuse human rights.
Unlike western countries, China doesn't even make better governance (or even a basic accounting of funds) a condition of its loans.

More often than not, China gives loans and asks for repayment in natural resources, which allows [government] and its cronies to turn the country's natural resources into cash + infrastructure.

And again... (4, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | about 9 months ago | (#44453885)

...China taking away jobs from the US.

Dammit, spying on the world is OUR job! They took uuur juuuuubs!

Re:And again... (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 9 months ago | (#44453917)

...China taking away jobs from the US.

Dammit, spying on the world is OUR job! They took uuur juuuuubs!

Not really, 'cause we were going to outsource them anyway.

Re:And again... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 9 months ago | (#44453929)

Yeah, but they're supposed to work for US, not just cut out the middle man and fill their own intelligence pockets! That wasn't part of the deal!

Re:And again... (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 9 months ago | (#44453993)

...China taking away jobs from the US.

Dammit, spying on the world is OUR job! They took uuur juuuuubs!

You don't seem to realize that is a local industry, most countries roll their own. European countries included.

Money buys anything (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44453901)

If Africans knew what Chinese really think about blacks, they would be shocked.
Chinese money would paper over the wounds, however.

Re:Money buys anything (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44454293)

As compared to American law enforcement?

Zero content article (4, Insightful)

jma05 (897351) | about 9 months ago | (#44453911)

Exactly why do we discuss articles like this? There is zero evidence so far that China is doing mass surveillance outside of China.

The articles acknowledges it, and asks questions that cannot be answered, while providing no new insights.

Re:Zero content article (2)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 9 months ago | (#44454277)

Exactly why do we discuss articles like this? There is zero evidence so far that China is doing mass surveillance outside of China.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communications_Assistance_for_Law_Enforcement_Act [wikipedia.org]
The US Government knows what we're doing, so they just assume the Chinese are doing the exact same thing.

Don't forget that Huawei is the #1 manufacturer of telecom equipment as is considered one of the most *innovative companies in the world.
The rest of the world knows Huawei for a lot more than "zomg China".

*When they're not stealing technology from others.

Such a shame (2)

Fuzzums (250400) | about 9 months ago | (#44453933)

"but others suspect it's wiring the continent for surveillance".
With todays knowledge: probably yes,
Thanks again mr. Snowden for revealing the truth.

Such a shame. It should have been NSA surveillance equipment, but they will find an other way.

Would have been news 6 mo ago (2)

beernutmark (1274132) | about 9 months ago | (#44453957)

Now that we know the US Gov. has our country (plus Europe at a min) completely wired up for surveillance who are we to complain about the Chinese.

Double standards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44454065)

So when China networks Africa, it is part of an evil plan, when the US ravages and destabilizes oil-rich nations, it is liberation.

Haters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44454099)

Haters gonna hate

government grifters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44454143)

"The loudest concerned party is former NSA and CIA head Michael Hayden, who has repeatedly raised warning flags about Huawei's suspected espionage."

When all you have is a hammer...

Get rid of the NSA. It's just an overrated govt make-work project, it does not and has never contributed anything that would remotely justify its cost (except maybe plot elements to a few good movies), and the same goes double for the CIA. Seriously, what has either done for you lately, or ever, except divert your money to adult children playing spy vs spy? Here's your opportunity, yanks, to turn conventional wisdom on its head and show the rest of the world how comparatively useless intelligence agencies are today, if not actually detrimental most of time to the national security they profess to uphold.

Pot calling the kettle black (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44454193)

I'm sure the US is far far far worse than China here.

Africa is the New China (2)

betterprimate (2679747) | about 9 months ago | (#44454207)

Africa is one of the largest supplier of Europe's natural resources. So much so that France sends out armed forces to procure them (they call the justification "terrorism" too, PR).

Even still, most of their resources remain untapped. In the next two decades, a large focus is going to be around Algeria, Mauritania, Mali, and Niger as they are rich in untapped resources and exploitable in labor.

Having an omnipresence would give an advantage to China as a global superpower. Not saying it's right or good...

Re:Africa is the New China (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44454273)

France got to Mali in response to a request from Mali's government to prevent various criminal (revendicating terrorist status) from taking over authority in the country and applying full blown Sharia.
France especially heard that request considering Mali's past as a french colony.
Job was done quick and clean and french forced headed back home withing the following months.

Yes France gets it's Uranium and many other ressources (mainly Niger) from africa and especially Mali's region, but not from Mali itself.

Although the best economical interest of France and everyone else is stability amongst african states, the military operation you are referring to is absolutely not comparable to supremacy/terror wars of the US in the middle east.

Re:Africa is the New China (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44454303)

Also when France intervened in Libya a few years ago it was indeed economy related: Ex-president Sarkozy had to eliminate Muhamar Kadhafi in order to cover up for the 50 million dollars he had received from him for his electoral campaign. A few close friends from Sarkozy also had the chance to sign juicy contracts outside of any legal context.

So this was one man's deed for his personal gain, no more (i must add he will go to jail in time for that, judges never stop closing in these days).

Law of the Headlines (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | about 9 months ago | (#44454227)

No.

Huawei is a company motivated by the desire to do business with people. There's nothing fishy about them trying to sell lots of your products to an emerging market.

China almost certainly does have espionage interests in Africa, and Huawei equipment might be a vector. But I'm sure they're joined in that noble endeavour by the NSA, GCHQ, etc...

The New West (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44454317)

China is the new west, for decades, we had UK, Then USA, Now, we have china to deal with. While i [essaywritingcentre.com]

Write

, the chinise move in deeper into every city in Africa while USA is making war with the Koreas :(

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