All wireless systems are vulnerable to cyber attacks. In 2017, a group of Finnish technicians laid out the security risks posed by 5G. As more and more devices are connected, they noted, “A security breach in the online power supply systems can be catastrophic for all the electrical and electronic systems that society depends upon.”
In 2018, the World Global Research Report ranked cyber-security as the third greatest global risk superseded only by natural disasters and extreme weather events. Canada has the third most cyber incidents in the world. With the arrival of 5G, the IoT and billions of new Internet-connected devices, cyber attacks will become inevitable.
Consider for a moment what the precise, always-on tracking 5G will facilitate might mean. Even if the companies storing every move governments and citizens make are operating with the highest moral scruples, there is ultimately no foolproof way they can secure the data from falling into the hands of a “malicious actor” or a foreign security service.
Nations across the globe have banned Chinese tech company Huawei from their 5G networks for this reason. But Huawei is already deeply embedded in Canada’s wireless networks, and despite Washington’s many warnings that Huawei presents a grave security risk, Canada has not made a final decision about whether or not we will rollout 5G using Huawei technology. It is estimated that removing Huawei equipment from existing networks in Canada could cost telecoms 1 billion dollars and taxpayers a hefty lawsuit.
The rise of Huawei and the imposition of 5G technology suggest that the technical noose on human affairs has just grown tighter. We should call 5G technology by what it will make possible: “technology-enhanced authoritarian control with global consequences.
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