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Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith said the way the US government is treating Huawei is un-American. As far as he knows, China’s leading maker of networking equipment and mobile phones should be allowed to buy U.S. technology, including software from his company. Such actions shouldn’t be taken without a “sound basis, in fact, logic, and the rule of law,” says Smith in an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, adding that Microsoft has asked US regulators to explain themselves.
“Oftentimes, what we get in response is, ‘Well, if you knew what we knew, you would agree with us,’” he says. “And our answer is, ‘Great, show us what you know so we can decide for ourselves. That’s the way this country works’.” US President Donald Trump has said Huawei, run by a former Chinese army technologist, is a national security threat, and his Department of Commerce has added the company to an export blacklist scheduled to take full effect in November.
A coalition of democracies should agree on standards for privacy and data collection and press China for better behavior, Smith says. Such privacy norms, he says, should govern “appropriate” data sharing that can help contribute to AI development and keep pace with Chinese efforts. That’s an idea that will likely alarm some privacy advocates. Smith, who raised money for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2016, says the bigger concern should be America’s leadership on the world stage, citing issues including gun violence and climate change. “The only way you can manage the technology that’s global is to have governments actually work with each other,” he says.
2019.09.09 / 19:07