04 September 2007

What's (Open) Source for the Goose...

A report suggesting that the Chinese military has hacked into German government computers could have a negative impact on the prospects in Western markets of Chinese equipment vendors Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063 - message board; Hong Kong: 0763), believes an analyst at Dresdner Kleinwort .


"The ability of Huawei and ZTE to participate in, let alone win, telecom infrastructure tenders in the Western hemisphere may have lessened considerably following last week's shock report," writes Lindberg in a research note issued Monday. "It could trigger a return to national security clearance when it comes to procurement of telecom networks," he adds.

OK, so this may be pure paranoia, not least because it's not clear that the alleged Chinese spyware has anything to do with the Chinese telecom equipment.

But there's a more general principle: if it ain't open, you don't know what's going on, so all this kind of stuff could be going on, unbeknownst to you. Of course, it also applies to Chinese procurement as well, which is one reason why I think open source is bound to win out there, as elsewhere.

After all, if you are a (paranoid) government flunky, do you really want to risk national security (and your post) on that black box? No, I thought not. (Via GigaOm.)

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