Canada Should Ban Huawei from 5G Networks for Security of Canadians: Former Spy Chief

In an editorial penned in The Globe and Mail, Richard Fadden, the former national security advisor to the Prime Minister’s Office, argues Canada should ban Chinese company Huawei from the country’s upcoming 5G networks, for the sake of Canadian security.

Current diplomatic tensions with China should indicate the Canadian government “should announce sooner, rather than later, that Huawei will be banned.”

Fadden points to how China reacted swiftly to protect its national interests, after Canada arrested Huawei’s CFO in Vancouver over a U.S. extradition request. If the Asian superpower willingly pushes back against Canada over an arrest, what would happen if the Huawei had control over our 5G networks?

If China would resort to putting Canadians to death to defend its corporate national champion, what might it do if the Chinese Communist Party had unfettered access to Canada’s vital communications networks? The ambassador and the Chinese government have implicitly acknowledged the strategic importance of Huawei, and they have revealed how quickly the Chinese charm offensive in Canada can switch to aggression and bullying.

The former Canadian spy chief argues our country’s allies the United States, Australia and New Zealand “have got the message,” along with Britain’s main telecom, BT Group, which is currently removing Huawei from its 3G and 4G networks. Countries in Europe, along with Taiwan and Japan are also mulling Huawei equipment.

Australia points out China’s ambiguous 2017 National Intelligence Law gives Beijing the power to force Huawei to provide assistance or cooperate in national intelligence work.

“Canada’s government should ignore the threats and ban Huawei from Canada’s 5G networks to protect the security of Canadians,” concludes Fadden, who opined a similar piece in the Globe back in December.

Feds Says Other Companies Besides Huawei Can Build 5G Networks

While the federal government currently is undergoing a national security review of 5G networks and Huawei, a decision isn’t coming any time soon, according to Bloomberg.

But according to The Canadian Press, it now appears the governing Liberals have pushed back against China’s threat against Canada if Huawei is banned here.

Federal Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale and Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains are now suggesting Huawei is not the only 5G company available to Canadians, when asked about the ongoing security review of Canada’s 5G networks.

Goodale said “There are other suppliers, yes indeed,” while Bains added, “Ericsson is another provider.” Ericsson is based in Sweden and their 5G technology is being used by Rogers.

“We will make the best decision for Canada and we will not compromise security,” said Goodale. “It’s an ongoing exercise and it’s exceedingly complicated. This is technology the world has never had before,” he added.

Last month, David Vigneault, the director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), said they have “seen a trend of state-sponsored espionage in fields that are crucial to Canada’s ability to build and sustain a prosperous, knowledge-based economy,” pointing out areas like 5G as vulnerabilities, but did not specifically mention Huawei or China.

Meanwhile, Telus, which is working with Huawei for 5G trials, recently stated a 5G network ban of the Chinese company would be a “lost opportunity,” citing the company is safe as their hardware and software is checked by Canadian security authorities.