Guardian Blasts US, UK 'Intimidation' Over Snowden Leaks
Today in international tech news: The Guardian's top editor faces questions -- and hostility -- at British Parliament over Snowden leaks. Also: Some U.S. politicians are wary of Huawei's business in South Korea; Chinese police nab a trio suspected of Bitcoin theft; Nokia wins an injunction against HTC phones in the UK; and runners can look forward to smart shoes.
Alan Rusbridger, the top editor for The Guardian, told British parliament that government agencies in Britain and the U.S. have tried to "intimidate" the newspaper since it obtained and leaked loads of secret documents from Edward Snowden.
Over the course of 100-plus meetings, American and British government made it clear to The Guardian that the outlet -- which first set the NSA snowball in motion -- is damaging national security and aiding hostile governments, according to Rusbridger. He added that officials have visited his office and destroyed Guardian computer disks.
Lawmakers from Britain's Conservative Party levied aggressive questions at Rusbridger, including whether or not he loved his country. Others asserted that The Guardian had handled information irresponsibly and jeopardized national security.
[Source: The New York Times]
Huawei, South Korea Deal Worries Congress
A recent network supply deal between South Korea and Chinese telecommunications company Huawei has piqued the interest -- and concern -- of the heads of two U.S. Senate committees dealing with national security.
Democratic Senators Robert Menendez and Dianne Feinstein are the duo at the heart of the concerns. They penned a letter to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Secretary of State John Kerry and President Obama's director of national intelligence, James Clapper. The letter was dated Nov. 27 but was unearthed by Reuters on Tuesday.
The U.S. has nearly 30,000 soldiers in South Korea. The country concedes that the Huawei raises concerns, but announced that they had no plans to scrutinize the partnership.
Huawei formed a partnership with South Korea-based LG Uplus Corp. Huawei will supply equipment, but LG will manage and operate the system.
In late 2012, Congress said that Huawei and fellow Chinese telecom ZTE were security threats and shouldn't be allowed to work on U.S. networks.
Chinese Police Nab Bitcoin Thieves
Chinese police have arrested three people suspected of operating the Bitcoin exchange GBL, which closed abruptly in October -- at a time when it housed more than $4 million of investors' money.
The suspects are 24, 29 and 33, and were arrested in disparate parts of the country.
Having set up the site in May, the trio had attracted 4,400 registered users by the end of September.
Nokia Wins Injunction Against HTC in UK
HTC could be barred from selling its phones in the UK after Finnish smartphone maker Nokia won a sales injunction against Taiwan-based company.
HTC could avoid the sales injunction if it lodges a successful appeal by Friday afternoon, but that will take a Herculean turnaround. Brad Lin, HTC's patent manager, claimed in court that the company doesn't know what features are in its phones' chips -- ergo, HTC wasn't sure whether or not they were infringing on any patents.
Justice Arnold, the high court judge presiding over the case, said it was "simply incredible" to make such a claim.
Nokia currently has a roughly 6 percent share of the UK smartphone market, while HTC weighs in a 3 percent.
[Source: The Guardian]
Now It's Smart Shoes
German research organization Fraunhofer is creating a shoe lined with sensors, GPS technology and accelerometers, all of which combine to log running-related data and make it accessible via smartphone.
The shoes, expected to be available in early 2015, could yield info that will help runners correct their form, for example, or suggest an alternate running surfaces.