According to a report that was initially released by The Telegraph, Theresa May, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, is defying the United States of America over security concerns that are surrounding Huawei, the Chinese telecoms giant, by allowing it to help build the new 5G network of Britain.
The newspaper reported that last Tuesday, PM May will allow Huawei “limited access to help build parts of the network such as antennas and other ‘noncore’ infrastructure.”
The decision of the British Prime Minister comes despite serious concerns from various governments, security agencies, and some members of her own party, such as Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, Home Secretary Sajid Javid, over Huawei.
Last March, the National Cyber Security Centre of the United Kingdom, which is part of GCHQ, the intelligence and security organisation of the UK government, released a report that severely criticised the Chinese firm, by declaring that there are “significant technical issues in Huawei’s engineering processes” and the company’s approach to software development brings “significantly increased risk to UK operators.”
The Centre also said that it can provide “only limited assurance that the long-term security risks can be managed in the Huawei equipment currently deployed in the UK.” It also noted that it “can only provide limited assurance that all risks to UK national security from Huawei’s involvement in the UK’s critical networks can be sufficiently mitigated long-term.”
At the time of the said report, Huawei said that it took the concerns “very seriously” and that the company would continue to work with operators in the United Kingdom and the National Cyber Security Centre in order to meet their requirements.
Last February, Alex Younger, the head of the foreign intelligence service of the United Kingdom MI6, released a warning at the Munich Security Conference against the United Kingdom using a single provider of equipment in new 5G mobile networks.
He stated: “It’s not inherently desirable that any piece of significant national infrastructure is provided from a monopoly supplier.”
The United States has continually pointed out the links of Huawei to the government of China. It has also emphasised the National Intelligence Law of China that says that organisations must “support, co-operate with and collaborate in national intelligence work.”
The United States, as well as New Zealand and Australia, has since barred local companies from using Huawei in order to provide the technology for their 5G networks.
Last month, Huawei launched a lawsuit against the government of the United States for banning its equipment from certain networks. It also claims that the US government misled the public regarding Huawei.