Gavin Williamson, Secretary of Defence, has raised deep concerns about possible national security threats occurring through Huawei, a Chinese tech giant.
Williamson said that he has “grave and very deep concerns” about the operations, and that the issue must be examined “very closely” because the Chinese state can use it “in a malign way.”
Huawei is a multinational telecommunications equipment company in China, which is a world leader in developing advance mobile internet technologies. Besides, the tech giant is among a group of companies that has developed superfast mobile 5G internet.
However, recently countries like Australia and New Zealand banned the company from providing 5G equipment citing national security grounds. The fear also remains for Britain, where the technology could be used to hack UK systems and spying on Britons.
Gavin Williamson said, “I have grave, very deep concerns about Huawei providing the 5G network in Britain. It’s something we’d have to look at very closely.”
“We’ve got to look at what partners such as Australia and the US are doing in order to ensure that they have the maximum security of that 5G network and we’ve got to recognise the fact, as has been recently exposed, the Chinese state does sometimes act in a malign way,” he said.
Australia and New Zealand, which banned Huawei network, are a part of the five-eyes group—the leading intelligence alliance of Britain including the US, the UK and Canada. Moreover, the intervention of both these countries could aid the other partners to impose a similar ban.
The Australian government informed that there were concerns that the internet networks being provided by the companies are “likely to be subject to extrajudicial directions from a foreign government.”
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has raised similar concerns for Britain. His comments came just a week after the country supported the United States and blamed China for a campaign of global cyber espionage to pilfer business secrets from the UK and allied countries.
This week, the chairman of Huawei, Liang Hua said that despite more bans, the company would continue to move with the 5G development. “In the face of a crisis of confidence from the West, we must do our own work well, and continue to build Huawei’s competitiveness in the field of 5G,” he said.
Being a significant technical country and decoding the systems of some strongest countries, China has created a substantial threat for Britain. The concerns of the Defence Secretary do hold water, since taking a risk on national security for high-speed internet would be completely irrational.