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EU’s International Security Policy, Artificial Intelligence and 5G

Increased Connectivity and Emerging Risks

On the 9th of October 2019 Techcrunch wrote an article about a new joint risk assessment report into 5G technology. So far the European Union has resisted pressure to boycott Huawei as a 5G supplier on national security grounds. In March 2019 US suggested that EU should block Huawei from accessing its market. The report identifies “security challenges” more likely to appear in 5G networks.

“ An increased exposure to attacks and more potential entry points for attackers: With 5G networks increasingly based on software, risks related to major security flaws, such as those deriving from poor software development processes within suppliers are gaining in importance.”

  • Certain equipment are becoming more sensitive such as base stations or management functions in networks.
  • Reliance of mobile network operators on suppliers may lead to a higher number of ‘attack paths’. These can be exploited by threat actors. Non-EU States or State-backed are considered as the most serious ones and the most likely to target 5G networks.
  • Risk profile of individual suppliers will become important.
  • There is a risk of major dependencies on suppliers. Dependency can present a high degree of risk.
  • Threat to availability and integrity as well as privacy and confidentiality.

According to TechCrunch the next step will be: “…the development, by December 31, of a toolbox of mitigating measures, agreed by the Network and Information Systems Cooperation Group, which will be aimed at addressing identified risks at national and Union level.”

According to the security report: “…consideration should also be given to the development of the European industrial capacity in terms of software development, equipment manufacturing, laboratory testing, conformity evaluation, etc” Therefore we can expect more investment either into the industrial expansion in EU regarding 5G or a great deal of investment into 5G security over the coming years.

How Does 5G Work?

There are a lot of hairy displays of 5G in fancy connective points.

This has additionally been displayed in a manner of evolutionary progression, as is often done within technology.

This becoming the first city with tech coverage of 5G becomes a goal in and of itself.

There are different networks that are divided into ‘cells’.

5G networks are digital cellular networks, in which the service area covered by providers is divided into small geographical areas called cells.

A good explanation has been attempted in Digital Trends.

The article explains spectrums: low-band, mid-band and high-band.

“Low-band spectrum can also be described as sub 1GHz spectrum. It is primarily the spectrum band used by carriers in the U.S. for LTE, and is quickly becoming depleted. While low-band spectrum offers great coverage area and penetration, there is a big drawback: Peak data speeds will top out around 100Mbps.

[…]

Mid-band spectrum provides faster coverage and lower latency than you’ll find on low-band. It does, however, fail to penetrate buildings as well as low-band spectrum. Expect peak speeds up to 1Gbps on mid-band spectrum.

[…]

High-band spectrum is what most people think of when they think of 5G. It is often referred to as mmWave. High-band spectrum can offer peak speeds up to 10Gbps and has very low latency. The major drawback of high-band is that it has low coverage area and building penetration is poor.”

Why is This Relevant to the Field of AI?

As mentioned previously it may change the way that we use applications within the field of artificial intelligence, that you can do more with a small device because your connections allow for data to move more swiftly, thus on an interface many applications will be decentralised with cloud (on a server). It is clear that if good things can be extended then less good aspects can too.

We have discussed some before, however perhaps we can look closer into this within the next few days.

I need to explore further what 5G is in my next few articles.

This is #500daysofAI and you are reading article 148. I write one new article about or related to artificial intelligence every day for 500 days.

AI Policy and Ethics at www.nora.ai. Student at University of Copenhagen MSc in Social Data Science. All views are my own. twitter.com/AlexMoltzau