The Huawei Affair

Jul 15 2020

Michael Hayden the former CIA director under George W Bush first identified Huawei as a threat to US national security over seven years ago.

The very fact that the Chinese would have any kind of control over UK power production or communications is deeply concerning.

China is the number one hacking nation in the world by a long way and the ability to hack and control any of our transmission systems must be taken seriously. 

Why should we be concerned?

In the short term, the concern is about our development of a 5G network. 5G technology is not owned by any one country, company or person but there is an industry consortium 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project) and minimum standards are set by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

The applications for 5G 

  1. Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB)  providing users with faster connections, higher throughput, and more capacity
  2. Ultra-Reliable Low-Latency Communications (URLLC) will use the 5G network for mission-critical applications
  3. Massive Machine-Type Communications (mMTC) providing reliable communications for robotics and other machines

The manufacturers of 5G equipment could effectively control all of the above with a simple firmware upgrade.
It is essential in the modern interconnected world we (The UK) have control over all methods of communication.

Solution: The procurement of communications equipment should have the same status as armaments.

 

Huawei - are they a threat?

May 20 2019

In the tech world, there were misgivings about Huawei well before Trump became president. It was an open secret that there were suspicions about their networking equipment containing insidious hardware implants, backdoors or hidden ports.

In 2013 the ex-CIA boss Michael Hayden alleged that Huawei has shared “intimate and extensive knowledge of the foreign telecommunications systems” with the Chinese state.

Commentators are suggesting this is a tool in the trade war, and they may be right, but this does not mean the suspicions were without foundation.

However, the latest move by Google is part of the trade war, restricting Huawei’s access to the Android operating system (OS) the is widely used mobile software that powers Huawei phones and tablets. Huawei could develop its own OS, of course, as the code behind Android is open source, but denying access to well proven Google apps & maps could be a game changer.