In his commentary, the writer says that Filipino business and network service providers who want to continue working with the US might be required to avoid Chinese products.

MANILA (PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – The world changed on Aug 5, but really couple of individuals discovered. On that day, the United States State Department detailed the “Tidy Network to Protect America’s Assets” program, a follow-through on the John S. McCain National Defense Authorisation Act of 2019.

The effort intends to guard Americans’ most delicate personal and company information from “aggressive intrusions by malign actors,” specifically naming the Chinese Communist Celebration.

Long prior to this US relocation, the Great Firewall Software of China has been safeguarding the “Chinese internet” by requiring local internet service providers to cooperate in censorship and information event.

This has actually avoided numerous major US internet services, such as Facebook, Google, and Amazon from going into the Chinese market. The protectionist strategy enables China’s own internet business, such as Baidu, Sina Weibo, Tencent QQ, WeChat, and Alibaba, to flourish.

In 2017, China issued the National Intelligence Law mandating all Chinese individuals, organisations, and institutions to help public security and state security officials in carrying out national intelligence work.

Recently, updates in the Fantastic Firewall software obstructed the usage of strong file encryption, likely the state’s newest effort at curbing VPN use.

Over the last 2 years, China has actually been exporting its vision of how telecoms need to be governed.

5G networks, for example, can supposedly “call house” or provide the Chinese federal government the capability to eavesdrop on any traffic on those networks.

So, the Tidy Network program has actually strengthened the bifurcation of the internet, or what the Web Society calls the “splinternet,” which started with the Terrific Firewall Software of China.

The US program names nations and telcos all over the world considered compliant (“clean”) with United States privacy and cybersecurity standards, a development that could impact how the internet works.

The internet was designed to take the best possible route to supply the very best possible service. Now, the choice of which route to take just ended up being political.

The Tidy Network limits using United States innovation by Chinese companies, consisting of Huawei, whose phones have US innovation such as Google Android in their cores.

To date, Huawei has actually had the ability to get an extension license from the US Commerce Department to continue using Android. But for how long? If this cyberwar intensifies, could China-brand cellphones still carry US-run social networks?

The restriction reaches United States networks using Chinese technology. For this reason, Philippine business and network companies who want to continue doing company with the US might be forced to avoid Chinese products.

In the short term, this will lead to boosts in costs, as Chinese network devices makers, such as Huawei and ZTE, have long controlled the market and have very little cost-effective competition.

The US likewise banned some Chinese applications accused of being utilized for spying. So if the Philippine federal government decides to take the United States side, say goodbye to trending TikTok dance videos for Filipinos? No more League of Legends or Fortnite, games with significant Tencent investment?

In discovering a middle path for the Philippines, essential questions need to be responded to. Should we join the Tidy Network or simply enable specific business to join? Do we have telco-neutral peering facilities and policies that encourage local ISPs to peer, to enable the development of an interconnect/middleman environment?

What regulatory requirements should we put in location considering relocations that impact the compliance of applications?

The US-China cyber Cold War is rapidly intensifying. As these 2 titans battle, the Philippines needs to tread nimbly and believe strategically.

Can it be the entrance in Asia, an interconnection hub working with both giants, and position itself as a “digital Switzerland”? Or will it be a passive observer and wind up as civilian casualties in this cyberwar?

The author is an innovation professional, teacher, and researcher and part of Secure Connections, a cybersecurity job of The Asia Foundation-Philippines. The paper belongs to The Straits Times media partner Asia News Network, an alliance of 24 news media entities.