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China Group Claims 'Conspiracy' Behind WLAN Security-Standard Defeat

A Chinese wireless-security technology group claims that the IEEE, with Intel's backing, rigged an ISO vote that defeated the group's proposed WLAN security standard in favor of the Intel-backed IEEE 802.11i standard.

David Haskin

May 30, 2006

1 Min Read

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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