Britain managing Huawei risks, has no evidence of spying

Huawei information

Logo of Huawei is seen on the advert in front of the local offices of Huawei in Warsaw Poland Jan. 11 2019. VOA

United States officials are planning to make a more strenuous pitch to other governments at next week's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that permitting network access to foreign firms such as Huawei, which has close links to the Chinese government, is unwise.

In the UK, Huawei is monitored by the Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre (HCSEC), a body that contains Huawei officials, UK Government representatives and mobile operators.

The center's oversight board in July lowered the level of assurance it could give the British government because it identified technical issues in Huawei's engineering processes.

"As we said then, and repeat today, these problems are about standard of cyber security; they are not indicators of hostile activity by China", the British official said.

Britain has not yet made any decision on its security policy for national 5G networks, the head of Britain's National Cyber Security Centre said on Wednesday, amid a furore over the alleged risks of using Huawei telecoms equipment.

In his address to the Munich Security Conference last Saturday US Vice-President Mike Pence also raised the issue of Huawei, repeating the US assertion that it posed a threat because of a Chinese law requiring telecom companies to share information with the government.

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Martin said the way the NCSC is handling Huawei's presence in United Kingdom telecoms networks was an example of its mitigation framework, arguing that it is subject to "detailed, formal oversight".

Martin said that securing 5G is going to be particularly important, given the sorts of networks dependent on it, running anything from autonomous vehicles to smart cities. "The techniques the Russians used to target those networks were looking for weaknesses in how they were architected and how they were run". "We remain committed to designing and producing technology to the highest standards of security and safety for customers in 170 countries around the world", he said. "The market does not now incentivise good cyber security", he said.

Experts say Huawei networks are generally cheaper than those of competitors and are of a high quality, making it a hard decision for governments and telecom operators to shun the supplier altogether.

Mr Martin described the current landscape for managing risks around cybersecurity as "complicated", but did lay out three rules for ensuring the security of 5G networks, the next generation mobile communications networks expected to begin rolling out later this year.

"Some politicians have turned either 5G or cyber security into political or ideological discussions, which I believe are not sustainable". The US political, military and intelligence establishment, and not merely the Trump administration, has concluded that it can not allow Chinese technological and industrial advancement as it regards it as a threat to American global economic, and ultimately, military dominance. Networks are built by human beings and human beings make mistakes.

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