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US politicians harumph over UK decision to allow Huawei in 5G network

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US politicians are expressing a collective harumph over the UK’s decision to allow Chinese company Huawei to build part of Britain’s 5G network, which complicates issues of national security.

Today, US politicians took to Twitter to express their disdain over the UK’s decision to allow the Chinese telecom into Britain’s 5G infrastructure, which they believe could hurt relations between the US and the UK.

”China’s National Intelligence Law makes clear that the Chinese Communist Party can force any 5G supplier headquartered in China to turn over data and take other actions in secret” — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

“Allowing Chinese telecommunications equipment into any part of a 5G network therefore creates unacceptable risks to national security, critical infrastructure, privacy, and human rights” — US State Department

“Huawei is aggressively spreading misleading and false information about its technical capabilities, ownership, and legal obligations to the People’s Republic of China and Chinese Communist Party” — US State Department

“Huawei cannot be trusted to tell the truth or protect the interests of others” — US State Department

“We’re putting our allies and partners on notice about the massive security and privacy risks connecting to letting Huawei construct their 5G networks inside of their countries” — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

China has built “an Orwellian system of mass surveillance and ‘predictive policing’” — International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

“Ownership of Huawei is not transparent, and has a history of unethical and illegal behavior, including IP theft” — US State Department

The US government’s attempts to sway its allies into rejecting Huawei’s proposals to rollout 5G in their territories was dealt a major blow today when the UK announced it would allow Huawei to build parts of its 5G network despite being a high security risk.

The British government announced today, “Huawei’s cybersecurity and engineering quality is low and its processes opaque,” adding that:

  • Huawei has a significant market share in the UK already, which gives it a strategic significance
  • Huawei is a Chinese company that could, under China’s National Intelligence Law of 2017, be ordered to act in a way that is harmful to the UK
  • The Chinese State (and associated actors) have carried out and will continue to carry out cyber attacks against the UK and our interests

Why the US is trying to block Huawei’s trans-continental courtship of allies over 5G: perspective

According to the US State Department, “Nations must take action now to ensure their 5G networks will be safe” because:

  • Privacy will be threatened if intentional “backdoors” can skim personal data from citizens
  • Security and safety will be threatened if “kill switch” attacks can disrupt or shut down 5G networks
  • Human rights will be threatened if “smart cities” use surveillance technologies to limit personal freedom and target vulnerable citizens
  • Economies will be threatened if intellectual property and trade secrets can be stolen
  • Sovereignty will be threatened if nations rely on networks controlled by authoritarian governments

Huawei has been courting countries across the world in its quest to rollout its 5G network internationally where it has already received levels of success in places like South Africa and in India where it was granted a trial run.

Pompeo to Silicon Valley: ‘Don’t let China use American tech to power Orwellian surveillance state’

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Tim Hinchliffe
Tim Hinchliffe is the editor of The Sociable. His passions include writing about how technology impacts society and the parallels between Artificial Intelligence and Mythology. Previously, he was a reporter for the Ghanaian Chronicle in West Africa and an editor at Colombia Reports in South America. tim@sociable.co