Debate around Huawei espionage fears in UK about as clear as those darn Brexit negotiations | 3/22/2019 | Staff
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Considering the state of political discourse in Britain, it comes as little surprise that the government has no idea whether it should follow allies and start banning certain foreign firms – most notably Huawei – from national telecommunications infrastructure projects.

The US, New Zealand and Australia have all moved to limit the presence of Chinese vendors' kit in their networks over fears it could be used by spies.

January - Norman - Lamb - Chairman - Commons

In January, Norman Lamb, chairman of the Commons Science and Technology Committee, wrote to government ministers to ask whether the country's networks were secure, and if the Chinese hardware vendors really posed a threat.

We have now seen a reply (PDF), put together by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which is responsible for the country's telco infrastructure – and it is completely devoid of any meaningful content.

Security - Concerns - Investment - Government - Risks

"Where national security concerns may arise, for any foreign investment the Government will assess the risks and consider possible responses. So it is right that we should take stock now so that we can make evidence-based decisions to secure our long-term national security and the resilience of our telecoms infrastructure," wrote Jeremy Wright, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

"The recent attribution of state-sponsored malicious cyber activity to the Chinese Ministry of State Security reiterates the importance of our continued vigilance in this area."

Reply - Lamb - Response - Department - Digital

This clearly wasn't the reply Lamb was expecting. "The response we have received from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has shed very little light on the extent of the potential threat to national security arising from foreign involvement in the UK's communications infrastructure, or on how the Government monitors and manages this risk," he said.

"One thing is clear: there are obvious tensions between the various departments involved, reinforcing the view that...
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