UK – “Huawei risk can be managed”

Last November the New Zealand GCSB turned down Spark’s proposal to use Huawei equipment in it’s new 5G network. UK security chiefs say thaat the Huawei risk can be managed.

RNZ (30 November 2018) – Huawei 5G decision: Everything you need to know

The GCSB blocked Spark’s bid to use its equipment in the new 5G network and now the Chinese tech company is seeking an urgent meeting with the government.

GCSB Minister Andrew Little said the decision to turn down the overseas network provider was because the technology was too risky – not because the company is Chinese.

Mr Little won’t reveal what significant national security risks Huawei poses saying the information was classified.

But he said the decision had nothing to do with Huawei’s close ties to the Chinese government.

Paul Buchanan (RNZ 29 November) – Huawei vs Five Eyes: NZ diplomatic ties at centre of dilemma

The Government Communications Security Bureau’s (GCSB) decision to recommend against using Huawei equipment for the 5G rollout because of national security concerns underscores the strategic role commercial telecommunications plays in modern society.

It also exposes the disconnect between local telecommunications providers and the Five Eyes signals intelligence network, as well as that between career intelligence professionals and the politicians who oversee them.

Now (BBC): Huawei risk can be managed, say UK cyber-security chiefs

Any risk posed by involving the Chinese technology giant Huawei in UK telecoms projects can be managed, cyber-security chiefs have determined.

The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre’s decision undermines US efforts to persuade its allies to ban the firm from 5G communications networks.

Australia, New Zealand, and the US have already banned Huawei from supplying equipment for their future fifth generation mobile broadband networks, while Canada is reviewing whether the company’s products present a serious security threat.

Most of the UK’s mobile companies – Vodafone, EE and Three – have been working with Huawei on developing their 5G networks.

They are awaiting on a government review, due in March or April, that will decide whether they can use Huawei technology.

As first reported by the Financial Times, the conclusion by the National Cyber Security Centre – part of the intelligence agency GCHQ – will feed into the review.

The decision has not yet been made public, but the security agency said in a statement it had “a unique oversight and understanding of Huawei engineering and cyber security”.

This has been portrayed as a split amongst Five Eyes partners.

Jacinda Ardern says that what the Uk is doing aligns with what NZ is doing –UK finds it can mitigate Huawei risks, NZ follows same processes: PM

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said New Zealand was going through the same process as the UK in considering a bid by Huawei to be involved in the rollout of 5G.

New Zealand’s spy agency recommended rejecting a similar bid here unless Spark proved it could mitigate similar risks.

Ms Ardern said the two countries’ processes were similar in this regard.

“We have a process where an assessment is made by the GCSB, independent of ministers. Any vendor who has made an application is then told of the outcome of that assessment and is given a chance, if there are security concerns to mitigate those concerns,” she said.

“Spark has been given options to around mitigation of potential security concerns and now the ball is in their court.”

An issue lurking in the background of this is the alternative to Huawei equipment – US equipment. There have long been claims that that allows US security back doors access to communications equipment.

 

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4 Comments

  1. Finbaar Rustle

     /  19th February 2019

    In Jacinda we trust.

    Reply
  2. Duker

     /  19th February 2019

    “UK security chiefs say that the Huawei risk can be managed.” ( leak!)

    Not really as plenty of UK reports have come to different conclusions
    LAST YEAR “HUAWEI CYBER SECURITY EVALUATION CENTRE (HCSEC) OVERSIGHT
    BOARD ANNUAL REPORT

    Click to access 20180717_HCSEC_Oversight_Board_Report_2018_-_FINAL.pdf


    UK criticises security of Huawei products
    https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-44891913
    Upcoming report from UK’s Huawei handler will blast firm for unresolved security issues
    GCHQ limb tight-lipped but we can read between the lines
    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/02/04/huawei_hcsec_gchq_brouhaha/

    I think this story hasnt played out yet

    Reply
  3. NOEL

     /  19th February 2019

    As more comes out it’s becoming more obvious that the much media touted claim of a CCP backdoor isn’t the most important risk.
    https://seekingalpha.com/article/4241454-u-s-china-tech-war-chinas-technology-challenge-huawei-5g-threat-video

    Reply
  4. martinr345

     /  19th February 2019

    Thought Bryan Gould summed it up pretty well in the Herald this morning. Hopefully this is how most kiwis see it, I hope all the pollies on all sides read it. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12204819

    Reply

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