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Major Australian telco launches attack on China

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Telstra has confirmed that it’s talking to the Australian government about a joint bid which would block China from buying Digicel

Reports suggest that Telstra is in talks with the Australian government to snatch Digicel from China.

Digicel operates relatively old 3G and 4G LTE mobile networks in the South Pacific. National security officials in Canberra are concerned China could buy its networks to spy on Australia’s surrounding neighbours.

If China was to access the sensitive data, it could potentially disrupt activity in Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu, Samoa, Nauru and Samoa.

The telco also confirmed media reports of the joint offer in a statement to the ASX:

“Telstra has confirmed it has been in discussions regarding a potential transaction to acquire telecommunications company, Digicel Pacific in the South Pacific region in partnership with the Australian Government”.

The company said that should they proceed, the acquisition would come with risk management support from the Australian Government.

“Telstra was initially approached by the Australian Government… In addition to a significant Government funding and support package, any investment would also have to be within certain financial parameters with Telstra’s equity investment being the minor portion of the overall transaction”.

The Morrison government wants to block any Chinese acquisition of Digicel Pacific. This is because it fears Beijing could use Digicel’s mobile tower network to conduct espionage on Australia’s neighbours.

Telstra has asked Digicel’s billionaire Irish owner Denis O’Brien to sit on the board of the company. O’Brien will assist underwriting Digicel’s revenue forecasts for three years.

These reports claim Telstra would pay between $200 and $300 million for the assets. The Morrison government would pay the remaining costs of the $2 billion bid.

Anthony Lucas is reporter, presenter and social media producer with ticker News. Anthony holds a Bachelor of Professional Communication, with a major in Journalism from RMIT University as well as a Diploma of Arts and Entertainment journalism from Collarts. He’s previously worked for 9 News, ONE FM Radio and Southern Cross Austerio’s Hit Radio Network. 

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IRS to require facial recognition in order to file and pay taxes

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A major shake-up is coming to the way US citizens file their taxes

Citizens that file their taxes online tax will soon be required to submit a selfie to a third-party identity verification company using facial recognition tech in order to file their taxes or make IRS payments online.

According to Gizmodo, from this summer, online users with an IRS.gov account will no longer be able to log in with a simple username and password.

The new process will instead involve facial recognition. Users will need to provide a government identification document, a selfie, and copies of their bills to Virginian-based identity verification firm ID.me to confirm who they are.

That change, first noticed by Krebs on Security, marks a major shift for the IRS which previously allowed users to file their taxes without submitting personal biometric data.

Gizmodo reports that a statement from an IRS spokesperson said users can still receive basic information from the IRS website without logging in, however the representative added they would need to sign in through ID.me to make and view payments, access tax records, view or create payment plans, manage communications preference, or view tax authorisations.

Users attempting to log in to their accounts using ID.me will have to create an account with the company by uploading either a driver’s license, passport, or passport card.

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The international airlines suspending US flights

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Emirates has announced that it is suspending a majority of flights to the United States due to the planned launch of 5G

Flights are suspended to all destinations in the United States, except major cities including Los Angeles, New York and Washington.

Due to operational concerns associated with the planned deployment of 5G mobile network services in the US at certain airports

EMIRATES SAID in a memo to employees

Air India, All Nippon Airways, and Japan Airlines, have all suspended most routes to the United States as well.

This follows the world’s largest telecommunications company AT&T announcing it will delay the implementation of its 5G service at some airports in the United States.

This is all in response to CEOs of America’s largest airlines warning of a major disruption to travel and shipping if the service is rolled out. 

In an open letter, the executives call for 5G technology to be limited near US airports.

In the statement, the CEOs are requesting a limit on 5G within 2 miles of airport runways as defined by the FAA

It says “Immediate intervention is needed to avoid significant operational disruption to air passengers, shippers, supply chain and delivery of needed medical supplies”.

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Airline CEOs warn of major 5G disruption near airports

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CEO’s of America’s largest airlines are warning of a major disruption to travel and shipping

They’re calling for 5G technology to be limited near U.S airports

In an open letter also signed by shipping giants FedEec and UPS, the CEO’s wrote with urgency to request a limit on 5G within 2 miles of airport runways as defined by the FAA

The say that “Immediate intervention is needed to avoid significant operational disruption to air passengers, shippers, supply chain and delivery of needed medical supplies”

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