While advising against allowing Chinese telecoms giant Huawei to build Canada’s next-generation 5G wireless networks, Israeli cybersecurity specialist Yuval Shavitt has claimed that a Chinese telecom company secretly diverted Canadian internet traffic to China, particularly from Rogers subscribers in the Ottawa area (via The Star).
Shavitt, who is an electrical-engineering expert at Tel Aviv University, has told The Canadian Press that in 2016, the internet data of Rogers customers in and around Canada’s capital was rerouted by the state-owned internet service provider China Telecom, which has two legally operating “points of presence” in Canada:
The 2016 Ottawa area incident that included Rogers was part of an attack in which Canadian internet data bound for South Korea was rerouted to China over a six-month period. The diversion of the South Korean data was first documented in a report last fall co-authored by Shavitt and Chris C. Demchak of the U.S. Naval War College.
The cybersecurity expert noted that the incident should serve as a caution to the Trudeau government not to do business with another Chinese firm.
“It’s too dangerous to let them in,” Shavitt said. “You can just imagine how Chinese companies are co-operating with the Chinese government.”
Rogers declined to comment to The Canadian Press and referred the matter to the Public Safety Department. Neither China Telecom, Public Safety or Global Affairs Canada responded for comment on the matter, either.
So far, the Canadian government has declined to ban Huawei, saying their decision is still “beyond weeks” away, and most likely will be made public after the extradition case of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou is decided upon.