first_imgDear Editor,Citizens have begun to experience the impact of the Smart City System component of the Chinese-funded National Broadband project; drive down any of the side-streets in villages on the East Coast of Demerara (Lilliendal to Success) and chances are you will encounter vigilant policemen and women seeking to engage you away from the eyes of cameras monitored in the National Database Centre. It would seem members of the Police Force are concerned about their privacy and an encounter caused me to do some research on this project.This Safe City System is funded by the Chinese Government and is engineered and built by Huawei Technologies. Given the recent revelations that Huawei technicians have helped African Governments to spy on political opponents, I would ask if the same is being done in Guyana. An Israeli IT security company seeking contracts locally has been spreading information that WhatsApp can be compromised; these were dismissed but are now made credible by the reports of Huawei activity in Africa.There have been various warnings about Huawei and possible spying on Guyanese citizens. Darshanand Khusial, in a letter to the editor in a section of the media on December 16, 2018, spoke about Huawei’s Artificial Intelligence software “Deep Learning” and asked “with Huawei equipment and Deep Learning technology in that CCTV camera system, would other nations be able to track people in real-time in Guyana without even the Guyanese Government being aware?” Are there safeguards in place to protect our right to privacy? What agreement or laws govern the utilisation of this ultra-invasive technology? Who is watching our newest ‘big brother’? Who has the ultimate responsibility for oversight and control?The core issue with Huawei has been the concerns about its cosiness with the Chinese Government and fears that its equipment could be used to spy on other countries and companies. It’s the reason why the US banned companies from using Huawei networking equipment in 2012 and the company was added to the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security Entity List on May 15, 2019, following an executive order from President Donald Trump effectively banning Huawei from US communication networks. Guyana is also now home to some of America’s largest corporations and an all too real possibility exists that Guyana’s telecommunications infrastructure could be used to infiltrate the data networks of those and other companies. The consequences of this eventuality are too dire to contemplate.Respectfully,Robin Singhlast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *