» Austria’s MFA was hit by a cyber-attack. The ministry did not rule out the possibility that the attack was carried out by a state actor, due to its severity.
» The U.S. Department of the Interior plans to halt the use of drones with technological parts from China. This would affect roughly 1,000 models. Such civilian drones are planned to be used solely in cases of emergencies, such as wildfires. It is the continuation of a process that includes warnings to civilians on the use of Chinese drones or a potential ban on Chinese-made dones from being used by the U.S. government.
» An Italian parliamentary security committee said that Huawei and ZTE should be prevented from participation in the creation of national 5G capacity. Italy’s Minister of Industry, Stefano Patuanelli, contradicted the ruling. According to Patuanelli, Italy has sufficient legislation for national security. Huawei is in contention to upgrade network infrastructure for Italy’s biggest telecom group, Telecom Italia.
» The U.S. reiterated its negative stance on possible Huawei participation in the creation of 5G networks in the UK. A dossier of technical information was given to their British counterparts by senior US officials.
» Sebastien Soriano, head of France’s telecoms regulator Arcep, announced that the auctions of 5G frequency licenses will be held in April. The allocations of frequencies are planned for June.
» Chinese socal media platform TikTok, which is banned in the U.S. from use in governmental and military phones, placed as runner-up to WhatsApp for the most downloaded application of 2019. Interestingly enough, Indian users attributed to 45% of TikTok’s downloads.
» A bipartisan bill “Cybersecurity State 5 Coordinator Act of 2020” was proposed by US Senators. It aims to create a position of national cybersecurity coordinator for each state. The office would fall under the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency with the intention of improving coordination between the federal and local governments on the matter, along with increasing preparedness for various cyber attacks.
» France’s Le Monde points out Huawei's lobbying effort in the EU. Owing to the fact that every single member state makes its own decision about ruling Chinese companies out from infrastructure development, Huawei expends great effort to persuade them in its favor. The lobbying costs of the Chinese producer were estimated at € 2,8 million.
» UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Right (OHCHR) special rapporteurs call for an investigation into the hacking of Jeff Bezos’ phone in 2018. According to the report, Bezos’ phone was infiltrated by a corrupted video file sent to him from the private account of the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman via Whatsapp. It was suggested that the spyware used might have been Pegasus-3, developed by an Isreali technology firm, NSO Group.