In “Who’s Afraid of Huawei?” you point out the need for the telecoms industry to adopt transparency guidelines to head off risks from kill switches, spyware, and back doors covertly installed in their equipment.
One minimum necessary condition of such transparency is that all software and firmware in these devices must be open source, with customers permitted to install their own software images from published source code and development toolchains that can be audited by third parties.
While open-source software cannot completely head off the possibility of Trojan horses embedded deep in telecoms hardware, it at least reduces the management of aggregate security risks to a tractable problem. No lesser measure is or can be even remotely as effective, even in principle.
Telecoms customers should insist on open source – and, as any competent counter-espionage agency would do, should consider vendors’ insistence on information asymmetry to be indicative of an unacceptable security risk.