Insights For Success

Strategy, Innovation, Leadership and Security


US bans use of Huawei technology through Defense Authorization Act

GeneralEdward KiledjianComment

US President Donald Trump has signed the Defense Authorization Act into law. Section 889 ( PROHIBITION ON CERTAIN TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND VIDEO SURVEILLANCE SERVICES OR EQUIPMENT) bans use by government agencies and contractors of Huawei or ZTE technologies. 

The language of the act is ambiguous and doesn't clearly list what technology is or isn't covered by the prohibition. 

procure or obtain or extend or renew a contract to procure or obtain any equipment, system, or service that uses covered telecommunications equipment or services as a substantial or essential component of any system, or as critical technology as part of any system

ZTE and Huawei should not be used to access government systems that display personal data, therefore it is safe to assume that most agencies and contractors will purge their networks of systems designed or that use these technologies.

I have not yet seen an official response from either of the tech complanies.

Stay tuned. 

Alternative ways to get the TOR browser

GeneralEdward KiledjianComment

Tor is an incredible power privacy enhancing tool that every security-conscious netizen should have in their arsenal. It doesn't replace a VPN service, since TOR isn't optimized for high bandwidth usage (like streaming music/videos) but it definitely has a place in my internet usage portfolio. 

To use TOR, you need access to a small kit of software that includes the TOR router and the TOR browser (a locked down customized version of the Mozilla Firefox browser). 


The Great Firewall of China site test tool confirms that the TOR Project website is blocked.

Luckily I live in Canada where we enjoy incredible internet freedom but what if you don't? What if you need TOR (because you live in a zone where the internet is tightly controlled or monitored) but you can't access the website to download the installer kit? The TOR project has create the GETTOR strategy to help those people gain access to its power network.

You can:

The system will then share with you a secret list of links to download the installer from GitHub, Dropbox or Google Drive.

Once you install the TOR package (after checking the validity to ensure it hasn't been tampered with), you can also use a TOR Bridge if your country, school, company or ISP performs deep packet inspection to block TOR. A TOR bridge is a relay to help circumvent censorship. 


You are now ready to enjoy private, anonymous and secure web browsing. Once installed, all future updates to the TOR software will be delivered via the TOR browser itself so you don't have to worry about performing these steps again.

Chinese media demand sanctions against US tech companies

technologyEdward KiledjianComment
Photo by  Rene Mensen  under Creative Commons License

Photo by Rene Mensen under Creative Commons License

3 things we know governments will always do are:

  1. Tax
  2. Spend
  3. Spy

The last point, fueled by the Ed Snowden leaks, seems to be keeping the media busy. Now the China-run state-owned media is calling on the Chinese government to sanction the major US technology companies who are "pawns of the US Government".

China Daily and People's Daily have called upon their leaders to "severely punish" the companies mentioned in the Edward Snowden leaks.

U.S. companies including Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, etc. are all coordinating with the PRISM program to monitor China,
— Peoples Daily Microblog site

Most companies have openly and vehemently denied working with the NSA. One such spokesperson is Google Chief Legal Officer David Drummond

We cannot say this more clearly - the (U.S.) government does not have access to Google servers - not directly, or via a back door, or a so-called drop box

I believe the next few month will be interesting. Let's see how (and if) China takes an official position. It is important to remember that Chinese telcom equipment manufacturers were disqualified from bidding on US government contracts because of concerns about spying. Now that the Snowden leaks show the US may be intercepting Cisco equipment to implant its own hidden tools, could other countries start boycotting US telecom equipment manufacturers?

Source : Reuters

Best Travel USB and Lightning cable - Chargekey

technologyEdward Kiledjian3 Comments

I have tested lots of USB and lightning cables but most of them die a quick and horrible death from the extreme pressures of travel. Most end up broken, cracked or otherwise unusable. 

That's until I discovered the wonderful Chargekey from Nomad. 

I wrote a review about it (link) that I encourage everyone to go read. In summary it is a durable, flexible, keychain attacheable USB or lightning cable that goes everywhere with you. 

I have tested other ChargeKey clones from Amazon, DHGate, DealExtreme and AliExpress but none of them are build as solid as the original ChargeKey. For an Everyday Carry (EDC) USB or lightning cable, the ChargeKey gets a 5 out of 5 from me.


The Goophone Samsung Galaxy S5 knockoff available

technologyEdward KiledjianComment

The creative and hardworking team at Goophone have managed to clone the Samsung Galaxy S5 in about 2 days. What did Goophone name this clone/copy/tip-off/fake? They called it the Goophone S5. 

It comes with

  • a 5" 1920x1080 screen
  • 2GHz octa-core MediaTek processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • 2800mAh battery
  • 13 megapixel read camera
  • 5 megapixel front camera
  • Available in white, black, gold and blue
  • Dual-SIM card slots
  • Android 4.2 (with Google Play)

All of this for only $299.

You can buy your very own Goophone now from their site directly (link)