Huawei? No way!

Staff Writer | Jul 21, 2019
The United States (US) has threatened to cut off valuable intelligence sharing with allies who use Chinese telecoms giant Huawei's equipment, which it says could be exploited by Beijing for spying.

This has led to a crisis for the United Kingdom, as it has emerged as a key battleground in a geopolitical battle over Huawei Technologies, the world's biggest maker of telecom networking equipment.

Britain's lntelligence and Security Council (ISC), chaired by Prime Minister Theresa May, met to discuss the issue in April 2019. A decision was made to block Huawei from all critical parts of the 5G network, but to give it restricted access to less sensitive parts.

 The final decision on Huawei was already supposed to have been taken, but May's decision to step down has stalled the process.

The ISC said Britain's cyber security chiefs had been clear that the issue was not about China or Huawei, but that the national networks had to be able to withstand any attack, malicious action or simple human error. Over-dependence and less competition resulted in lower security standards.

The ISC advised that the decision was not just technical; the government had to take into account political concerns so as not to jeopardise the ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence alliance of the US, Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

The ISC argued that China would understand if Huawei were excluded as Beijing would not allow a British company to play a role in its critical national infrastructure.

Earlier this month, President Cyril Ramaphosa threw his support behind China and Huawei, declaring the US to be ‘jealous’ of the controversial Chinese company.


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