Financial Times: British intelligence says Huawei risk manageable

Chinese President Xi Jinping met with US representatives as talks come up fast against a March 1 deadline. POOL  AFP  File  Andy Wong

Chinese President Xi Jinping met with US representatives as talks come up fast against a March 1 deadline. POOL AFP File Andy Wong

Ericsson AB chief executive officer Borje Ekholm pushed back on notions that restrictions on Chinese competitor Huawei Technologies would deprive European operators of the only vendor capable of delivering equipment for next-generation wireless networks and risk delaying 5G development on the continent.

U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence, speaking last weekend in Germany, urged European allies to take seriously "the threat" he said was posed by Huawei as they look for partners to build the new 5G mobile networks.

Responding to the report, a NCSC spokesperson said that "the National Cyber Security Centre is committed to the security of United Kingdom networks", adding that it has "a unique oversight and understanding of Huawei engineering and cyber security". The Trump administration has issued multiple concerns over the Chinese giant, and possible surveillance being carried out on behalf of its home government - allegations Huawei continues to deny.

US government agencies are officially banned from using Huawei and ZTE equipment via an executive order passed in August 2018, and several other countries, including Australia and New Zealand, followed suit.




Some security analysts argue that a Huawei role in 5G could give it access to a wide range of digital data gleaned from how, when and where Canadian customers use their electronic devices. The U.S. has accused her of fraud and violating global sanctions against Iran, which she and Huawei have both denied.

The report, which quotes two unnamed NCSC sources, notes that the body believes there are ways to ensure the UK's infrastructure is protected, months after a government study suggested Huawei's processes didn't offer enough oversight. It will be up to the country's government to decide whether to take the NCSC's advice on board.

Despite US fears, United Kingdom intelligence agencies have found no evidence of "malicious Chinese state cyber activity through Huawei". The National Cyber Security Centre said this summer that it had concerns about the engineering and security of Huawei's networks.

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