Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall Signs Business Deal With Chinese Company That Is Causing National Security Worries
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall recently traveled to the People's Republic of China to witness the signing of an agreement between SaskTel and Huawei Canada. The agreement is intended to bring next generation wireless broadband technology to parts of rural Saskatchewan.
But there are some serious concerns with Saskatchewan's agreement with Huawei. The fact that the United States House of Representatives’ Intelligence Committee has strongly urged American firms to stop doing business with Huawei makes you wonder if Wall did sufficient 'due diligence' before signing on with the Chinese company.
SaskTel's President, Ron Styles would not disclose to reporters if any discussions have occurred with CSIS. The fact that the Harper government gave Premier Wall an exemption to bypass national security measures should start ringing some alarm bells.
"According to a scathing report released in Washington on our Thanksgiving Monday, our neighbour and biggest trade partner has deemed Huawei a threat to U.S. national security and bluntly told its own American telecommunications companies to "find other vendors." Huawei's involvement in building American networks risks the possibility of Chinese cyber-spies stealing U.S. state and commercial secrets or perhaps disrupting everything from America's power grids to its banking systems, the Congressional committee warned.
"This is your personal data. This could be your medical records, your financial records, everything that you hold dear that you think is locked away in a safe place on your computer," committee chairman Mike Rogers told the CBC, explaining that imbedded electronic bugs in Huawei gear secretly transmitting data back to China have been "reported".
"The key word there is 'new secure network'; I would not have the faith and confidence (in Hua-wei)."
[...] It is the latter point that should be of particular concern to Premier Brad Wall, who has always been quick to remind us of the value of America as a trading partner. In fact, Wall was highly critical this summer of Democrat President Barack Obama as being bad for Canada. One might suspect some Republican politicians might have similar feelings about Saskatchewan's dealings with Huawei.
"David Skillicorn, professor at the School of Computing at Queen’s University, said the company (Huawei) was heavily implicated in the theft of technology from former Canadian tech darling, Nortel Networks. Reports after Nortel went bankrupt in 2009 suggested hackers had wandered unimpeded inside Nortel’s networks, including the chief executive’s terminal, for a decade."
Way to go ... Brad!