What’s going on?
The Trump administration is considering a sweeping change in the name of national security: a federal takeover of the 5G mobile network. A PowerPoint deck and memo from a senior National Security Council official say the country should have a “centralized nationwide 5G network” in the next three years.
“The memo argues that a strong 5G network is needed in order to create a secure pathway for emerging technologies like self-driving cars and virtual reality — and to combat Chinese threats to America’s economic and cyber security."
So, the government would control the entire 5G network?
That’s one option presented in the memo. Axios reported these two possibilities:
- A single network is built and paid for by the government.
- Wireless providers build their own 5G networks that compete.
What does this mean for me?
Federal control of the 5G network would be unprecedented government control in an industry that has been historically private. Given the government’s track record of surveillance abuse, slow service and wasted taxpayer funds, a federal 5G network could be disastrous for Americans who depend on their phones every day.
“Whoa, is that a good idea. If we could just cut the phone company out as the middle man, then we’d have a network that could be wide open to the NSA 24/7,” Glenn said sarcastically on today’s show.