Canada’s military wants the federal government to ban Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei from supplying equipment for the next generation of wireless infrastructure.
According to a senior Canadian official with knowledge of the matter (via Bloomberg), national security agencies, the Canadian military, and the Department of Innovation are all conducting cybersecurity reviews in order to determine whether Huawei’s 5G technology could be a potential security risk.
Canada is now the only country in the Five Eyes Alliance that has not yet made a decision about Huawei. The other countries in the alliance include Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The UK has given Huawei a limited role in the introduction of 5G and will be allowed to participate in the “non-sensitive” parts of the project. The company cannot participate in more than 35 percent of the deployment.
Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains said the government is reviewing the UK’s decision but has not given a timeline for the decision.
As more European countries follow the United States and turn away from the world’s biggest telecommunications equipment-maker, scrutiny grows over Huawei’s close ties with the Chinese government and allegations its equipment could hold backdoors to enable spying, which the company denies.
While the United States has already largely barred Huawei from supplying its government and contractors, it sees European and Canadian preparations for so-called 5G (fifth-generation) 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.