Common Purpose, the Internet of Things & Global Surveillance

by Ken Craggs

U.S. cyber-security strategist Donald “Andy” Purdy joined Huawei after a U.S. congressional report raised concerns that Huawei might be spying for the chinese government. A White House-ordered review of the report, which was completed in 2012 “found no clear evidence” that Huawei had spied for China.

Another report released in 2012by the U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee raised concerns about spying by Huawei and ZTE, but the report did not present any conclusive evidence. In an effort to increase transparency and counter security concerns, Huawei has proposed to set up a cyber-security evaluation centre in Australia. Does this seem like a complete farce to you? It should do, because it is.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is an international collaboration that includes the European Union, USA, China, Japan, India, Russia and other countries. Wuxi-Sensing in China is leading the ‘Internet of Things’ international standardisation, with Huawei & ZTE (among others) upgrading telecom systems in various countries to IoT standards.

Huawei & ZTE are also closely linked to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) – see ‘Partner Affiliation’ for Huawei & ZTE at oneM2M. Common Purpose graduate John Suffolk, the former UK government CIO & CISO (2006-2011) is now Huawei’s global head of cyber-security. 

Also see here,, here and here.

The IoT International Forum was launched by the EU and China (IoT-i, CASAGRAS2, CIE & CATR). Huawei, ZTE & the China Academy of Telecommunications Research (CATR) are part of the ‘Internet Engineering Task Force’ (IETF). Huawei is also a member of the U.S. ‘Alliance for Telecomunications Indusry Solutions’ (ATIS) which is a founding partner of oneM2M (see p.5). ATIS is a major U.S. contributor to the U.N. International Telecommunications Union (ITU). Huawei and ZTE are members of oneM2M which is ‘Unifying the Internet of Things‘.  

World-Wide-Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee is also a member of the IETF as is Vint Cerf, the so-called ‘Father of the Internet’. In my blog post ‘Panopticon‘ I mention that, the organisations coordinating IoT development includeAuto-IDLabs; the (IETF); the United Nations International Telecommunications Union (ITU); and the ‘World Wide Web Consortium’ (W3C)…W3C was founded by the inventor of the World-Wide-Web Tim Berners-Lee, with support from the European Commission and DARPA.

Common Purpose graduate ‘Baroness Rennie Fritchie’ is Chair of Nominet and was Chair of the Web Science Research Initiative at Southampton University and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) until 2009. Baroness Fritchie works closely with Tim Berners-Lee (a Professor at MIT and at Southampton University)…

The W3C office for UK and Ireland is hosted by Nominet. In 2007 the MacArthur Foundation awarded a grant of $350,000 to the Media Standards Trust and the Web Science Research Initiative to develop their plans for authenticating news on the web.

The board of trustees of the Media Standards Trust include Julia Middleton (Common Purpose), Sir David Bell (Common Purpose) and Anthony Salz the executive vice chairman of Rothschild. In 1995 Lady de Rothschild pioneered the broadband wireless industry.

“She began by winning US government licences to ride on the back of unused radio spectrum in four major U.S. cities. The idea was to use high-frequency radio to transmit video-on-demand or broadband internet applications, cutting out the need to lay cable.” According to the U.N. Broadband Commission, ‘Broadband drives the Internet of Things‘.

China‘s Huawei is a major supplier to BT’s on-going multi-billion pound 21st Century Network (21CN), leading to so-called concerns that the UK telecom system could be vunerable to chinese attack. The ‘Technology Strategy Board‘ (TSB) is overseeing the development of the ‘Internet of Things’ in the UK. I got information about the ‘Internet of Things’ featuring in the Parliament & Internet Conference (Oct 25th 2012) via a tweet from the lead technologist at TSB. Baroness Rennie Fritchie can be found on the agenda at 16.20 – 7.00. 

Another Common Purpose graduate, Jamie Saunders, Director of Cyber Policy, at the British Foreign and CommonwealthOffice, also attended the Parliament & Internet Conference to discuss ‘Concepts of acceptable behaviour to protect and enhance trust – The road to Korea’.

Another global telecommunications company that Common Purpose is closely associated with is ‘Tata Communications‘ which operates India‘s largest data centre in Pune. At the ‘Tata Management Training Centre’ in Pune, Common Purpose have provided training for senior leaders at TataGroup and participants from India’s government and NGO sectors.

The ITU ‘Internet of Things’ report (2005) was specially prepared for the second phase of WSIS Tunis (2005). In December 2012 the ITU had a WorldConference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) which saw an attempt by the ‘United Nations‘ to take over the Internet. The ‘Final Acts’ of the WCIT (see page 20) includes ‘RESOLUTION PLEN/3 (DUBAI, 2012). RESOLUTION PLEN/3 includes WSIS GENEVA 2003 and WSIS Tunis 2005

Both WSIS Geneva (2003) and WSIS Tunis (2005) state that:

  1. Policy authority for Internet-related public policy issues is the sovereign right of States. They have rights and responsibilities for international Internet-related public policy issues.

  2. The private sector has had, and should continue to have, an important role in the development of the Internet, both in the technical and economic fields.

  3. Civil society has also played an important role on Internet matters, especially at community level, and should continue to play such a role.

  4. Intergovernmental organizations have had, and should continue to have, a facilitating role in the coordination of Internet-related public policy issues.

  5. International organizations have also had and should continue to have an important role in the development of Internet-related technical standards and relevant policies.

Further Reading:

Governments gave us the web

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2 comments for “Common Purpose, the Internet of Things & Global Surveillance

  1. mona
    February 22, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    A very interesting piece on CP on Before its News website the smiling cretins in the CP promotional video show clear signs of brain damage.

  2. February 23, 2013 at 6:21 am

    Yes – incidentally, the post has been updated with new information.

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