The decision of whether or not to include the Chinese telecom giant Huawei in its construction of 5G network in the country would be taken by the United Kingdom and the decision would not be influenced by outside forces.
The The United States has been urging its traditional allies including the UK to ban the participation of Huawei in the development of 5G mobile network over fears and concerns that the company’s equipment would be use d by Chinese agencies to spy on western countries. Huawei has repeatedly refuted those charges.
Huawei has already been blacklisted by the United States after issuance of an executive order by the country’s president Donald Trump and American telecom companies are now effectively prevented from using the equipments of Huawei in their networks. Technology from Huawei cannot also be used by US telecom companies.
This decision by the Trump administration was aimed at protecting U.S. technology from being exploited and used by “foreign-owned entities” that could be a threat to the national security of the country, said the U.S. Commerce Department said in a statement on Wednesday.
Huawei responding to its blacklisting has offered its cooperation to U.S. officials for the US to ensure safety and security of its product.
Britain would decide on Huawei equipment after its own review, said the U.K.’s Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Jeremy Wright, to a television channel.
“The United States has to make its own decisions. We need to make ours,” he said, and added: “The view that we’ve taken is that it is more sensible to do a properly-based review of the security of the whole telecoms supply chain.”
The critical defense networks in the UK currently do not use any equipment from Huawei. However the UK has reportedly decided to allow usage of the Chinese firm’s equipment for the non-core areas of telecom network in the country.
The 5G policy of the UK and the equipment to be for it is being reviewed by the British government, Wright said. He however also said that a broader review can be conducted by the government. “I think this is important to do that without focusing on one sole company or one sole country. This is about the whole supply chain,” he said
But according to a former spy chief of the MI6, it is necessary for Britain to review its decision to allow participation of Huawei in the country’s telecom sector and argued that the control of data “will be a route to exercise power over societies and other nations.”
He hoped there was “time for the U.K. government, and the probability as I write of a new prime minister, to reconsider the Huawei decision”, said Richard Dearlove in a foreword to a report on the Chinese tech firm by the Henry Jackson Society.
Allegations that Huawei would get involved in any form of espionage and provide data to the Chinese agencies and government have been repeatedly refuted by the company. But the assurances from Huawei have made some analysts skeptical by pointing out to a Chinese law that mandates that every Chinese company would mandatorily cooperate with the Chinese government in intelligence gathering.
(Adapted from CNBC.com)