Top UK Defence Expert: "British Security At Risk From Huawei"
Britain’s national security is being put at risk because a Chinese telecoms giant is being given too much access, the former head of the Minister of Defence’s cyber security unit warned.
Major General Jonathan Shaw claimed ministers were ‘compromising’ on security and ‘dealing with the devil’ in opening up to the firm Huawei. A former assistant chief of defence staff, he had specific responsibility for cyber security at the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for more than three years until April.
This month a US congressional report published earlier this month that raised security concerns about Huawei and another Chinese telecoms company, ZTE.
Major General Shaw told investigative website Exaro: ‘The economy is in such a mess that the government feels that it has to compromise on security in favour of continued economic freedom. ‘So, it is dealing with the devil and I think that the government is very conscious of that now.
‘Certainly there are enough people in the [intelligence] agencies who are saying that, but they are also aware of the economic cost of not dealing with Huawei.‘The concern over corporate espionage is a bit like global warming. It is not today’s issue. But, by God, it is there.'
Earlier this month it emerged Huawei, which has been accused of posing a threat to America's national security, was being investigated over a controversial £2.5 billion deal with British Telecom.
‘There is the very real fear that the extent of Huawei’s current telecoms penetration could mean that in the long term we shall have lost so much intellectual property by the time we put our house in order that there will be no economy left to recover.’ Australia blocked Huawei bidding for a government contract this year, citing national security, and Canada is said to be considering following suit.
Huawei first entered the UK in 2001, and has invested especially heavily in the country since 2005. Last September Prime Minister David Cameron hosted Huawei’s founder, Ren Zhengfei, a former People’s Army officer, to Downing Street. Later Huawei announced plans to invest a further £1.3billion in the UK.
Larry Wortzel, a member of the US-China economic and security review commission, a US congressional body, said: ‘Any government should have substantial concerns about the activities of Huawei.’
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