INTELLIGENCE chiefs have cleared China’s Huawei to help build Britain’s 5G phone network despite spying fears.
Ciaran Martin, boss of the National Cyber Security Centre, said the threats to the UK’s networks are “bigger than one company”.
GCHQ chief Jeremy Fleming said which country a tech supplier came from was not the most important factor[/caption]
GCHQ chief Jeremy Fleming said which country a tech supplier came from was not the most important factor. He added: “It’s a hugely complex challenge which is going to span the next few decades.
“How we deal with it will be crucial for prosperity and our security.”
The National Security Council, chaired by the PM, approved Huawei’s involvement in less sensitive areas of 5G after being briefed by the intelligence services.
Chancellor Philip Hammond backed the move as he travelled to Beijing for a meeting hosted by President Xi Jinping today.
‘LIKE GIVING BEIJING A LOADED GUN’
But the UK’s “Five Eyes” allies — Canada, Australia, the US and New Zealand — fear it could let China spy on mobile networks or launch cyber attacks.
Bob Seely MP yesterday called the decision “incomprehensibly short-sighted”. Fellow Tory Tom Tugendhat added: “If you nest a dragon in critical infrastructure, even if it’s a sleeping dragon, you still have a risk built in.”
US cyber security adviser Rob Joyce warned it was like giving Beijing a loaded gun.
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He said there were concerns about “very, very shoddy” practices at the company and added: “There have been some really horrific reports about the quality of that activity and what’s being produced.”
Huawei insists it is private, not government owned. Critics say it must still report to Chinese intelligence
Rob Joyce, a cyber security advisor to the USA’s National Security Agency, warned giving contracts to Huawei was like giving Beijing a ‘loaded gun’[/caption]
SECURITY LEAK FURY
CABINET ministers could be probed over the leaking of details about Huawei’s involvement in 5G.
Discussions of the National Security Council were made public within hours of Tuesday’s meeting. Senior MPs said the leak breached the Official Secrets Act as well as the ministerial code and demanded a criminal inquiry.
Ex-deputy PM Damian Green branded it as “irresponsible and unforgivable”, adding: “Anyone who has ever had anything to do with security is furious.” Downing Street did not comment.
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