UK Intelligence’s Pro-Huawei Signals Give Canada Time on 5G Decision

Canada can potentially breath easier after British officials said that it can manage any security risks posed by Huawei’s involvement in building Canada’s 5G wireless network.

The U.K. National Cyber Security Centre recently advised that the risk of using Huawei technology in the new superfast 5G could be contained despite warnings about opening the telecoms network up to Chinese cyber-espionage, reads a new report from CityNews.

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.

If the United Kingdom gives Canada a “cautious green light” in regards to Huawei, it will give the latter a bit of time to make its decision, says Wesley Wark, an intelligence expert who teaches at the University of Ottawa.

“Whether such an approach can prevail in Canada in the face of U.S. pressure is the question for us, as it is for Britain and Europe,” Wark said.

Huawei has been on the defensive in recent months as the US government has pushed for the company’s technology to be banned, alleging that it could be used by China for spying. Australia and New Zealand have already blocked mobile carriers from using Huawei for 5G networks, and other governments, including the United Kingdom, are reviewing the situation.

Canada has yet to make a decision and is reviewing the matter.

The issue is complicated by a U.S. request to extradite Huawei’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, to face bank and wire fraud charges. She was released on bail in Vancouver and is under 24/7 surveillance while awaiting a hearing.

“We are a country of the rule of law, and we will always defend the rule of law,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “We will live up to our international obligations, we will put the safety of Canadians at the forefront of everything we do.”