- Luke Pollard MP responds to the Government’s decision to allow Huawei to build the UK’s 5G network.
- Luke concerned by the security implications posed by choosing a ‘high-risk vendor’ to construct our 5G network.
- Luke highlights that Huawei is bound by China’s National Intelligence Law 2017, a law that requires organisations to ‘support, cooperate with and collaborate in national intelligence work’.
- Luke calls for greater limitations on Huawei’s involvement in the construction of the UK’s critical infrastructure.
5G is the latest generation of mobile internet services, offering higher speeds and lower latency than its predecessor, 4G. The UK is heavily reliant on telecommunications services and the rollout of 5G would allow for more real-time data transfers throughout these networks. This would enable everything that relies on internet connections to function faster and more accurately, facilitating improvements in technologies such as autonomous cars, satellite navigation, augmented reality and virtual reality, amongst others.
The Government has confirmed that Huawei will be allowed to build the UK’s 5G network despite critics highlighting national security concerns. Huawei, whose headquarters are based in China, are bound by China’s National Intelligence Law 2017 to ‘support, cooperate with and collaborate in national intelligence work’. The Government has placed limitations on Huawei’s role by excluding them from ‘core’ parts of the 5G network and restricting their access to non-sensitive parts of the network.
The UK is the only member of the global intelligence-sharing network Five Eyes to have chosen to accept Huawei into their 5G network building. With the exception of Canada, who are yet to make their decision, all other members of the Five Eyes alliance – the US, Australia and New Zealand – have blocked Huawei’s involvement citing security concerns.
Luke Pollard MP has responded to the Government’s decision with:
“As an MP who speaks often on defence and security matters, I am deeply concerned by the Government’s decision to allow Huawei to play a substantial role in the rollout of our 5G full fibre networks. The Government itself categorises Huawei as a high-risk vendor that poses greater security and resilience risks to the UK telecommunications network, and then with the next breath they allow Huawei to be involved in the building of our 5G network.
Whilst I support the upgrading of our infrastructure and I recognise the benefits of a full fibre 5G network, the security implications of allowing the involvement of a company that is bound by China’s National Intelligence Law 2017 cannot be understated. The potential for abuse is clear and there is a very real possibility that vulnerabilities or backdoors could be constructed into our 5G network that would allow for targeted attacks to disrupt or crash our systems.
Britain is under cyber-attack every minute of every day and the security and resilience of our 5G network, which our entire economy will depend upon, must be protected and cannot be compromised. With little public confidence in this deal with Huawei. I am concerned that the Government is prioritising possible economic gains over the will of the public and at the expense of national security.”