Huawei Legal Document Promises ‘No Spying’ in Canada to Avoid 5G Ban: Report

The federal government has still yet to announce whether China’s Huawei will be banned from Canada’s 5G networks, but that hasn’t stopped the company from doing what it takes to avoid the ban.

According to The Globe and Mail, the publication reported last week it obtained a copy of the confidential legal document, written up by Huawei Canada, which promises not to spy or implement back doors on Canadian 5G networks:

The Globe and Mail has obtained a copy of the proposed no-spying agreement, marked “confidential,” which lays out the company’s legal obligations if Canada allows it to be part of the next-generation 5G cellular technology.

The document appears to be the first Huawei no-spying agreement to be revealed publicly, and spells out a strict process to prove the equipment does not contain secret “backdoors” that allow outside entities to access the networks or put in malware. It also commits to reject requests for information from Chinese security agencies.

The document outlines numerous steps Huawei would take, with obligations to be inserted into any contracts, including stipulations such as “Huawei agrees no information shall ever be provided to any foreign intelligence agency outside of Canada.”

According to The Globe, the draft document is written as an agreement between Huawei Canada and the federal government. Sources tell the publication the document has not been sent to Ottawa yet, as the latter is still reviewing whether or not to ban Huawei from 5G.

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole said last week he would not allow Huawei on Canada’s 5G networks if he is elected Prime Minister.

Out of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance, Canada is the only country that has not acted to ban or stop Huawei from 5G networks. So far, the U.S., UK and Australia have banned Huawei from 5G, while New Zealand has also opposed the Chinese company’s gear for next-generation networks.

Bell and Telus have opted to skip Huawei gear for 5G, instead choosing European partners instead. If Huawei is banned, both carriers allegedly will try to seek $1 billion in compensation from Ottawa, the estimated cost to rip out existing Huawei 4G gear.

Canada’s Huawei 5G decision most likely is being delayed due to the company’s CFO and daughter of the founder, Meng Wanzhou, currently facing U.S. extradition in Vancouver. The U.S. has accused Wanzhou of bank fraud and violating U.S. sanctions against Iran.