Trump Administration Adds China’s Biggest Chip Maker To Trade Blacklist For Alleged Military Ties

Topline

The U.S. Department of Defense added China’s biggest chipmaker, SMIC and major oil firm CNOOC to a trade blacklist due to their alleged ties to the country’s military, continuing the outgoing Trump administration’s crackdown on Chinese firms.

Key Facts

Late on Thursday, the Department of Defense announced a total of four additions to its blacklist also including China Construction Technology Co Ltd and China International Engineering Consulting Corp.

SMIC, which is China’s biggest semiconductor maker, relies heavily on equipment and software from U.S. suppliers to design and manufacture its chips.

In a stock exchange filing on Friday the Chinese chipmaker said that it was aware of the action and was still evaluating the potential fallout.

Crucial Quote

In a Wall Street Journal

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Space Startup Earns $1B In U.S. Military Contracts Amid Launch Drone Unveiling

Space startup Aevum received several government contracts worth nearly $1 billion, including opportunities with the United States Space Force and United States Air Force (USAF).

Aevum is constructing autonomous drones called Ravn X, which take off and land horizontally like airplanes; today (Thursday, Dec. 3) also marks the rollout of the Ravn X vehicle. Aevum is also building a global logistics network to take on as many launch duties as possible themselves.

This work recently garnered them the upcoming ASLON-45 mission with the United States Space Force, which is the first formal small launch mission contracted by the U.S. Department of Defense.

Aevum also received a USAF AFWERX Small Business Innovation Research Phase I contract for rapid launch and space logistics, along with a separate indefinite delivery and quantity contract with the USAF Space and Missile Systems Center’s Launch Enterprise Small

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Trump to Congress: Repeal Section 230 or I’ll veto military funding

A man in a suit points from a small desk.
Enlarge / Donald Trump speaks from the White House on Thanksgiving Day.

President Donald Trump has long been an outspoken foe of big technology companies. And in recent months, he has focused his ire on Section 230, a provision of the 1996 Communications Decency Act that shields online platforms from liability for content posted by their users.

In May, Trump called on the Federal Communications Commission to reinterpret the law—though it’s not clear the agency has the power to do that. Since then, he has tweeted about the issue incessantly.

On Tuesday evening, Trump ratcheted up his campaign against Section 230. In a tweet, he called the law “a serious threat to our National Security & Election Integrity.” He warned that “if the very dangerous & unfair Section 230 is not completely terminated as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), I will be forced to unequivocally VETO

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Trump Threatens Military Spending Veto In Social Media Bias Battle

Donald Trump has threatened to veto a major military funding bill unless Congress abolishes a liability law protecting social media firms regularly accused of bias by the president.

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act gives immunity to tech companies such as Facebook and Twitter from legal action on content posted by users.

Both platforms have found themselves the target of incandescent fury from Trump in recent weeks after they began attaching disclaimers to social media posts by the president that claimed he had lost last month’s election due to voter fraud.

Trump has doubled on a months-old push to abolish the statute in response — a move that has been backed by his congressional allies.

“Section 230… represents a serious threat to our national security and the integrity of the elections,” the president tweeted on Tuesday night.

US President Donald Trump has threatened to veto a major military funding bill unless Congress abolishes a liability law protecting social media firms US President Donald Trump has threatened to veto a major military funding

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SES to provide satellite connectivity for U.S. military ‘internet of things’

SES has been tapped to provide satellite-based communications for the Advanced Battle Management System.

WASHINGTON — Satellite communications provider SES Government Solutions announced Nov. 30 it was selected by the U.S. Air Force to join the pool of vendors that will compete for contracts to build the military internet of things.

SES will compete to provide communications services for the Advanced Battle Management System program, or ABMS — an Air Force project that seeks to connect weapon systems and command centers so they can share data. ABMS is one piece of a larger Pentagon effort to build a military internet of things known as Combined Joint All Domain Command and Control. 

The Air Force requested $302 million for ABMS in fiscal year 2021, with projected funding of $3.2 billion over the next five years. A large group of vendors from across the defense, aerospace and tech industries have been selected

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Singapore investigating claims Muslim app developer sold user data to US military

Singapore is investigating claims that local-based mobile app, Muslim Pro, has sold “granular location data” to the US military. Clocking more than 98.5 million downloads worldwide, the popular prayer tracking app has denied the allegations, saying it shares only anonymised data with its partners.

The Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) confirmed it was investing the allegations and had asked for more information from the developer of Muslim Pro, Bitsmedia. The regulator told local media: “We remind users to also be mindful of the type of permissions and personal data they provide and how it may be used. If in doubt, users should not download or use any application.”

Founded in 2009, the Singapore-based Bitsmedia has offices in Malaysia and Indonesia. Its Muslim Pro app tracks prayer times and shows the direction to Mecca, amongst other features, and has been downloaded by users across 200 countries, according to its website. 

Earlier

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Ethernet connectors military communications networking

GLEN ROCK, Pa. – The Bel Fuse Inc. Stewart Connector segment in Glen Rock, Pa., is introducing the Category 8.2 series Ethernet connectors for military communications, industrial equipment interfaces, and other high-speed and high-noise networking protocols.

The Category 8.2 series also is for data centers looking to upgrade their data transmission speeds without switching over to a more costly fiber optic solution.

These Ethernet connectors provide throughput as fast as 2 GHz as defined by ISO/IEC 11801-1 Class II and can support 100 Watts of power over Ethernet applications in a 30-meter channel.

The Category 8.2 series consists of cable-mounted field-terminatable keystone jacks and patch cords that support future Ethernet speeds of 25GBASE-T and 40GBASE-T over copper twisted pair cable.

Related: High-reliability Ethernet connectors for security systems, IoT, and data storage introduced by Stewart

The Category 8.2 series networking connectors expands Stewart Connector’s ARJ45 Category 7a product line and is

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US military bought location data mined from Muslim prayer app: report

  • The US military purchases location data mined from seemingly ordinary apps on peoples’ smartphones, public procurement records show.
  • One source of location data bought by the military is Muslim Pro, a prayer app with more than 98 million downloads worldwide, according to a new report from Vice’s Motherboard.
  • Apps like Muslim Pro — as well as other apps for exercise, weather tracking, and browsing Craigslist — sell people’s location data to third party brokers, which in turn sell the data to clients like the US military and military contractors.
  • The US has previously used location data harvested from smartphones in order to plan and carry out drone strikes.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Muslim Pro, a prayer app with over 98 million downloads, reminds users about daily prayers and provides readings from the Quran. The company calls it “The most popular Muslim app.” 

It also tracks users’ location

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Muslim Pro App Users’ Information May Have Been Harvested By US Military

The U.S. military is buying location data from some popular phone apps, according to a report published Monday from Vice Motherboard. One of the apps that sold its data is Muslim Pro, a Muslim prayer and Quran app that has been downloaded by more than 98 million devices worldwide.

In its investigation, Vice Motherboard analyzed a series of public records and interviewed a series of app developers.

The data that the military seeks is location data, which is purchased through a company called Babel Street through a product called Locate X and another company called X-Mode, which gets data directly from apps and sells it to contractors, the report said.

Muslim Pro specifically uses X-Mode to send location data as it tells users when to pray and which location to face Mecca during prayer time. According to the Google Play Store, the app has been downloaded over 50 million times

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