May Allows Huawei To Participate In ‘Non-Core’ Parts Of UK’s 5G Network

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Following the leaked news that Theresa May and her senior ministers have approved the participation of Huawei in some non-core parts of Britain’s 5G data network, but have banned the Chinese company from more sensitive core parts of the project, please see below for comment from Malcolm Taylor, former senior British intelligence officer and current Director of Cyber Advisory at ITC Secure.

Malcolm Taylor, Former Senior British Intelligence Officer and Current Director of Cyber Advisory at ITC Secure: 

“It’s always dangerous to comment on a leak – and it’s an interesting thought that the NSC doesn’t usually leak; this issue is becoming politicised in a way which many of the NSC’s decisions do not. 

If correct, I judge this to be simply further evidence that the UK is taking a pragmatic, risk-based approach to 5G and Huawei. GCHQ and the NCSC, in the guise of the Huawei Cell, have apparently considered the risks and concluded that ‘controlled integration’ of Huawei into non-core elements of the network will provide the best outcome for telcos and end users, whilst engaging Chinese technology which works well and is cost effective. I find it very hard to argue with that approach. 

I do expect this to be further politicised, and the timing is not great from a UK government perspective because of the Trump visit; the US are unlikely to be pleased. Slightly awkward too that the Directors of GCHQ and of the NCSC are today meeting US counterparts at the conference in Glasgow. The timing of leaks is never accidental, it seems.”  

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