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
- Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) providing users with faster connections, higher throughput, and more capacity
- Ultra-Reliable Low-Latency Communications (URLLC) will use the 5G network for mission-critical applications
- 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.