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US cranks pressure on UK over Huawei, 5G

By Jules Wang March 19, 2019, 9:00 pm

US intelligence officials have been pressuring Germany to either block out Huawei from vending any 5G network equipment to the country or risk the loosening of its secret information sharing relationship. The foreign minister’s office has been abuzz about the security concerns of integrating cheap but proficient devices from the thriving Chinese telecom.

Now, Washington is looking to influence the UK into discarding Huawei as a 5G option. The Financial Times reports from sources that representatives from the Trump administration have cautioned London that even testing Huawei equipment before deployment would not be enough to ensure grid security.

GCHQ and MI6 staff recently concluded that independent testing of Huawei equipment would be sufficient to guarantee that the company would not be able to send detailed traffic data back to the Chinese government. The company is compelled by law to contribute to secret information gathering operations under the mandate and protection of Beijing.

A US official has pointed out whereas previous cellular protocols depending on a mix of hardware and software that 5G’s software-defined nature will allow Huawei to change up code on a whim and potentially introduce a backdoor to its encryption, going as far to say that backdoors  for manufacturers exist by default.

The British National Cyber Security Centre has said that Huawei’s equipment has not been integrated into any sensitive networks, including those of the government’s.

US officials have also been talking to Brazilian government reps about keeping Huawei out of its 5G networks.

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