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A manageable risk

The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre has said that the risk from using telecoms equipment supplied by Huawei is ‘manageable’.

Although this is only advice being proffered to the government as part of an ongoing review, these comments could put the UK at odds with its key allies.

The US, Australia and New Zealand have accused Huawei of acting as a proxy for the Chinese government in order to spy on them – as a result, the US has restricted funding on buying equipment, while the Australian government has blocked the sale of equipment from Huawei for use in its 5G mobile broadband networks.

The UK's mobile companies - Vodafone, EE and Three - have all been working closely with Huawei on developing their 5G networks.

The UK is currently reviewing whether it’s advisable to use technology supplied by the Chinese giant. Those findings – due in a few weeks - are, however, expected to be influenced by the NCSC’s comments.

While the workings of it decision has not yet been made public, the agency said it had "a unique oversight and understanding of Huawei engineering and cyber security."

According to security experts, mobile companies should keep Huawei out of their core networks, but that its equipment could be safely deployed elsewhere.

So, is the UK likely to buck the global trend? The final decision is in the hands of the government but from what the NCSC has said, is an outright ban strictly necessary?

Author
Neil Tyler

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