The government of the United Kingdom believes it can mitigate the potential national security threat Huawei presents to the country’s upcoming 5G networks without banning the use of the company’s networking equipment, according to a new report from the Financial Times.
Two sources the Financial Times cite claim the U.K.’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) believes the country could manage any potential cybersecurity risks by requiring carriers to source their 5G networking equipment from a variety of suppliers, as well as restricting access to some parts of the country’s future networks.
The official report is unlikely to come out for some time. For what it’s worth, however, a spokesperson for the government’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport department said any suggestion that the government has reached a definitive conclusion on the subject is “inaccurate.”
If the government of the U.K. decides against a Huawei equipment ban, it’s likely to have at least some effect on the decision-making process here in Canada.
Both Canada and the U.K. are part of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance, which also includes the U.S., Australia and New Zealand. The latter three have made various moves to ban the Chinese manufacturer from their respective 5G networks. In late December, Reuters published an article in which it reported that President Donald Trump was considering an executive order to ban U.S. carriers from using equipment made by Huawei.
Here in Canada, after China’s ambassador to Canada said the country would face unspecified “repercussions” if it banned Huawei’s networking equipment, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said the federal government was considering the situation with a “great deal of care.”