Canada has no choice but to ban Huawei from 5G mobile networks, security experts say – .

0
11
Canada has no choice but to ban Huawei from 5G mobile networks, security experts say – .


Concerns arise from the fact that China’s National Intelligence Law states that Chinese organizations and citizens must support, assist and cooperate with the state’s intelligence work

Content of the article

As the Liberal government prepares to roll out its policy on next-generation mobile networks, global security experts say all signs point to the exclusion of Chinese supplier Huawei Technologies from the long-awaited plan.

Advertising

Content of the article

The development of 5G, or fifth generation, networks will provide people with faster online connections and provide vast data capacity to meet voracious demand as more and more things are tied to the internet and innovations like as virtual reality, immersive games and autonomous vehicles emerge.

Opposition conservatives have long urged the Liberals to deny Huawei a role in building the country’s 5G infrastructure, saying it would make it easier for Beijing to spy on Canadians.

Some argue that Huawei’s involvement could give it access to a range of digital information gleaned from how, when and where Canadian customers use internet-connected devices. In turn, according to the theory, Chinese security agencies could force the company to pass on the personal information.

Advertising

Content of the article

These concerns stem from the fact that China’s National Intelligence Law states that Chinese organizations and citizens must support, assist and cooperate with the state’s intelligence work.

Huawei insists it is a fiercely independent company that does not spy on anyone, including Beijing.

“We sell to 180 countries around the world,” said Alykhan Velshi, vice president of corporate affairs, Huawei Canada. “We have to comply with the laws of each of these countries. And if we were to breach trust, we would only sell in one country. “

Advertising

Content of the article

Whether or not Huawei poses a real security risk, concerns have given rise to a general notion that countries cannot afford to bet on a telecommunications company that is enthusiastically backed by Beijing, Professor Wesley Wark said. auxiliary at the University of Ottawa and senior executive. member of the Center for International Governance Innovation.

“Society is just too closely aligned perceptually with the Chinese regime to allow Western states to do anything else,” Wark said. “And they have alternatives. “

Velshi said Huawei Canada hopes – and expects – that any federal government decision regarding 5G policy will be “based on technology, not policy.”

Too close perceptually to the Chinese regime

He also points out that most of Huawei’s approximately 1,600 employees in Canada are involved in research and development as well as in the marketing of products other than network equipment for telecommunications operators.

Advertising

Content of the article

“The reality is that we have a diverse business in Canada,” Velshi said. “That’s why we sell smartphones in Canada, we sell headphones, we sell laptops. “

While the Huawei issue has received considerable attention, the government’s 5G review is a much broader strategic look at how nascent technology can boost the Canadian economy.

“However, in order to take advantage of this opportunity for economic growth through 5G, the safety and security of the technology must be ensured,” say briefing notes prepared earlier this year for Bill Blair, then Minister of Justice. Public security.

“Incidents resulting from the exploitation of vulnerabilities by malicious actors will be more difficult to protect and could have a wider impact than in previous generations of wireless technology. “

Advertising

Content of the article

We sell smartphones in Canada, we sell headphones, we sell laptops

Whether by accident or by federal design, decisions made months, if not years ago, at meetings of foreign firms and corporate boards have the potential to profoundly shape the Canadian deployment of 5G.

Three of Canada’s partners in the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance – the United States, Britain and Australia – have taken decisive action to curb the use of Huawei equipment in their respective 5G networks. country.

The federal government acknowledges that the United States has strongly urged countries to be cautious about 5G security considerations, noting that a U.S. delegation visited Canada in March 2020 to discuss the matter with various ministers and government officials.

The United States has made it clear that Canada must “get on board” if it is to stay with the club, said Fen Hampson, professor of international affairs at Carleton University.

Advertising

Content of the article

The announcement of Canada's 5G policy has effectively been put on hold for the past three years by a tense geopolitical drama that has unfolded between Ottawa and Beijing.
The announcement of Canada’s 5G policy has effectively been put on hold for the past three years by a tense geopolitical drama that has unfolded between Ottawa and Beijing. Photo de Dado Ruvic/Illustration Reuters

“This is the security premium you pay, not just nationally, but to partner with preferred security alliances like the Five Eyes. There’s no free lunch, you can’t have it both ways, ”Hampson said.

“This is the big toll we are facing now. And I think it’s pretty clear in which direction the government is going to jump.

The announcement of Canada’s 5G policy has effectively been put on hold for the past three years by a tense geopolitical drama that has unfolded between Ottawa and Beijing.

Canada arrested Meng Wanzhou, a senior Huawei executive, in December 2018 at the behest of the United States, where she was wanted on alleged sanctions violations against Iran.

The move clearly angered Beijing, and two Canadians working in China – Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor – were arrested soon after on charges of endangering national security, a move widely seen as retaliation against Ottawa.

Advertising

Content of the article

The United States recently reached an agreement to postpone Meng’s case, allowing his release, and Beijing allowed the two Michaels, as they were known, to return home to Canada.

Meanwhile, major Canadian telecommunications companies have managed the uncertainty by working with Sweden’s Ericsson, Finland’s Nokia and South Korean Samsung to help them build their 5G networks.

Bell Canada, for its part, had little to say about the upcoming federal announcement. “We have no other comment than to note that we are satisfied with our 5G network providers Ericsson and Nokia,” spokeswoman Caroline Audet said.

FILE PHOTO: Huawei Technologies CFO Meng Wanzhou speaks to media at the BC Supreme Court following a hearing on his release in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada September 24 2021. REUTERS / Jesse Winter / File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Huawei Technologies CFO Meng Wanzhou speaks to media at the BC Supreme Court following a hearing on his release in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada September 24 2021. REUTERS / Jesse Winter / File Photo

Huawei points out that the company’s involvement in existing mobile networks in Canada has never led to any security-related complaints, from customers or the government, regarding its equipment.

Advertising

Content of the article

“And it continues to be an important part of Canada’s telecommunications network today,” Velshi said.

Even so, if Canada were to ban the company’s involvement in 5G, it would raise questions about the fate of legacy Huawei equipment in previously installed networks.

An aerial view of the Communications Security Establishment (CST) and CSIS on Ogilvie Road.  Ashley Fraser / Postmedia
An aerial view of the Communications Security Establishment (CST) and CSIS on Ogilvie Road. Ashley Fraser / Postmedia

The government notes that the Canadian Security Review Program has been in place since 2013 to address cybersecurity risks.

The Communications Security Establishment, Canada’s cyber espionage agency, works with telecommunications companies and equipment suppliers to exclude certain equipment from sensitive areas of Canadian networks and ensure mandatory testing before it is used. in less vulnerable systems.

The know-how developed through the program will be important in assessing cyberthreats and the risks of emerging technologies, according to the government.

Advertising

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here