Internet conferences like to adorn themselves with a virtual Snowden appearance – at least in Europe. Six years ago, Snowden had uncovered the controversial spying methods of the US intelligence agency NSA. Since then, he is a hero of the Internet scene – although his theses on the commercial web conferences, although applause, but little heard. Because the business models of Big Data have changed little despite its repeated warnings.
Huawei, on the other hand, is considered by the US as a security risk in the construction of 5G radio networks. As a countermeasure, the Chinese group wants to attract European developers and companies to build an alternative to US services, especially Google.
So Snowden's appearance: Web giants like Google and Facebook are working in truery with governments, he warned. Although the EU General Data Protection Regulation is a nice approach. "But the problem is not the protection of data, but that they are collected at all," said Snowden. Therefore, the directive is a "paper tiger" that conveys false security.
Finally, Snowden again called for a completely new Internet. "Whether it's Huawei or Nokia, we can not trust anyone because every organization has their own interests," he warned. Founders should not appeal to their users to trust the start-ups. "You have to offer business models that nobody has to trust you with," he said.
Huawei promotes 5G and ignores US sanctions
Totally different shortly thereafter Huawei boss Guo. The Chinese campaigned for the possibilities of the radio technology 5G – thus for more data consumption. The Chinese telecom giant is using the Web Summit to entice European developers. Guo introduced two gigantic subsidy programs: For more than five years Huawei wants to support developers, universities and start-ups with 1.5 billion dollars. A further $ 1 billion will go to developers who explicitly develop for Huawei's smartphone ecosystem.
Because Huawei has a huge problem: In mid-November, the grace period expires, the US government still allows the group. After that, previous partners like Google are no longer allowed to deliver to Huawei. With the latest smartphones of the group will not run important Android applications such as Google's Play Store, Google Maps and update features.
Guo did not mention the US sanctions – even though the topic is a heavy concern to the scene. He left it unclear how exactly Huawei wants to replace Google and hardware suppliers – and how the company wants to counter US suspicions. For the developers is therefore questionable, whether they can still rely on Huawei as a stable partner. With a similar silence Huawei had last confused in other presentations.
Undeterred, Guo praised Huawei's plans in Lisbon to work with more and more network operators to build 5G networks. The expansion is progressing faster than hoped, he claimed. At the same time, the US is exerting strong pressure on governments to shut Huawei out of network expansion – officially for fear that Huawei will be able to install a backdoor into the 5G network.
This is a fear that probably shares Snowden. "Everyone is vulnerable unless we completely change the technology of the Internet," he warned, pleading for secure encryption. However, this was not heard in Guos Keynote.
The Web Summit in Portugal will run until Thursday. Already on Tuesday, Huawei wants to inform developers about details of its new funding programs. The responsible for the smartphone cloud division manager Alex Zhang, who should speak to, has canceled its appearance, however, at short notice – as it was called for "timing reasons".
More: Portugal starts the digital recovery. The country is turning into a start-up location and is also attracting international founders and investors with the help of the "Web Summit" tech trade fair.