US Government renews pressure on UK to ban Huawei from 5G network

  • The US has called on the UK again to ban Chinese telecoms manufacturer Huawei from supplying equipment for the UK 5G network, but the head of MI5 says any security risks can be contained.

    Chinese telecoms manufacturer Huawei has been in conflict with the US government for the past several years over perceived risks to US national security. The story kicked off in 2018 in response to a Chinese law that could potentially be used by the Chinese government to compel tech firms to give the government access to its systems as part of security investigations.

    Fears that Huawei could potentially plant back-door access into any hardware it supplies for the 5G network prompted the US to add Huawei to a list of banned technology providers back in May in an effort to prevent the company from supplying critical infrastructure for the US 5G network. The US has been putting pressure on other countries to follow suit, but not everyone is convinced of the threat.

    The UK government initially voted in favour of allowing Huawei to supply non-core technologies such as cell masts, but later reverted its decision following US action against the company. Tech leaders have warned that a final decision must be made soon or the UK will fall behind the rest of the world in capitalising on this emerging tech, with Germany already giving Huawei the go-ahead.

    Now fresh pressure has come from the US that suggests it could pull out of intelligence-sharing arrangements with the UK if Huawei is permitted to participate in the UK 5G rollout. The Guardian reports that a US national security delegation has delivered an ultimatum on the issue, saying: "Congress has made it clear they will want an evaluation of our intelligence sharing."

    MI5 head Andrew Parker has publicly stated that there was no reason to think that using Huawei tech would harm the ability for the US and UK to share intelligence securely, and that any potential security risk could be managed. Tech experts have similarly pointed to the use of encryption to keep data secure even if shared over a potentially unsecure network.

    Source: The Guardian

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    Brendan is a Sync NI writer with a special interest in the gaming sector, programming, emerging technology, and physics. To connect with Brendan, feel free to send him an email or follow him on Twitter.

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