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Pressure Increases as Ottawa Nears Decision on Huawei’s Involvement in Canada’s 5G Infrastructure

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The Canadian government continues to be pressured into making a decision regarding China’s Huawei and 5G technology, reads a new report from The Canadian Press.

According to the report, there are fears that if Huawei were selected that could open the door to China electronically spying on Canadians. The United States has been leading the charge against the tech giant, but top Huawei officials have repeatedly denied the allegations.

The United States has reportedly been pressuring Canada and other allies not to use Huawei technology for critical infrastructure, arguing that it could be too risky when the Chinese state is engaged in spying.

“Some security experts say Huawei’s participation could give it access to an array of digital data gleaned from how, when and where Canadian customers use their electronic devices,” reads the report. “In turn, the theory goes, Chinese security agencies could pressure the company into handing over the personal information.”

Benjamin Howes, a Huawei Canada vice-president for international media affairs, notes the company’s involvement in Canada’s existing 4G networks has never led to any such security incidents.

“In every country where we have a business presence, we’re committed to complying with the applicable laws and regulations, and Canada is no different,” Howes said. “So we will continue to be compliant, as we have been over the decade that we’ve been here, with Canadian laws and regulations.”

Sweden’s Ericsson and Finland’s Nokia are also in the running to assist Canadian firms, such as BCE and Telus, in developing their 5G technologies.

The United States sees European and Canadian preparations for 5G mobile networks as a security risk that could also endanger the United States.

“Going with an untrusted supplier like Huawei or ZTE will have all sorts of ramifications for your national security and … since we are military allies with almost all members of the European Union, on our national security as well,” an unnamed US official said last year.

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