Into the fastlane with 5G

On September 11, 2019, the Meridian Corporate Council partnered with DCI Group to host Ruth Berry from the State Department, Christopher Burnham from Center for Strategic and International Studies, Former U.S. Ambassador Douglas Lute and Nate Tibbits from Qualcomm for a discussion of the future of 5G technology and its security, moderated by Ambassador David Gross of Wiley Rein LLP.

Each of the panelists spoke on a variety of issues including the capabilities of 5G, the internet of things that are being produced and how 5G will be further connect the world. Due to its impact on everyday life, there are serious security concerns surrounding 5G. Ms. Berry pointed to Huawei, a Chinese telecommunications company that has produced a multitude of patents for 5G technology and is widely seen as a frontrunner in the race to produce it, and has strong connections to the Chinese government. The concern is that the greater interconnection between devices opens up larger opportunities for cyber espionage and data theft. This led Mr. Tibbits and Mr. Burnham to agree that trust and security are should be prioritized in the 5G conversation.

With the release of 5G and prioritization of trust and security, the panelists acknowledged the difference between conversations surrounding 5G, and those for 3G and 4G due the widening gap between connecting and protecting. Ambassador Lute stressed that using secure technology will become a necessity for the future because of the amount of data being sent between devices. Regardless of current conversations, recent bills passed by the U.S. Congress have already become obsolete due to the rapidly evolving 5G landscape.

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