China Group Claims 'Conspiracy' In WLAN Security Standard Rejection

A Chinese group claims that the IEEE, with Intel's backing, conspired to scuttle an attempt to have a Chinese WLAN security proposal be adopted by an international standard-setting body.

May 30, 2006

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The international war of words over wireless LAN security standards grew louder Monday with reports that China claims a "conspiracy" led by Intel and the IEEE caused rejection of a security proposal it has championed.

China's People's Daily Online reported that China's Broadband Wireless IP Standards Group (BWIPS) has asked the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to investigate circumstances surrounding that group's rejection last March of a security standard favored by the Chinese government. Specifically, ISO rejected China's WAPI standard as an international WLAN security standard and, instead, supported the IEEE 802.11i standard.

The Chinese news site reported that BWIPS claims the IEEE misled ISO and its members and said it has 49 specific pieces of evidence to support that contention. The agency called the results of the ISO fast track vote "unacceptable."

"The serious violations are rare in ISO's standardization history," the group said in a statement published by People's Daily Online. It claimed that the IEEE "unjustly and unfairly" violated ISO rules by misleading the national bodies that voted on the new international standard.

The group blamed the rejection on Intel and its domination of the standard-setting process regarding wireless LANs. It claimed that Intel and the IEEE conspired against WAPI and the Chinese body's attempts to establish it as an international standard and that 802.11i is "immature" and suffers from "many serious technical defects."People's Daily Online reported that ISO has agreed to investigate the matter.

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