A top Canadian military official has expressed concern about Huawei’s potential involvement in the country’s 5G networks.
According to a new report from City News, Defence chief Gen. Jonathan Vance has joined the country’s premier spy agency, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), in expressing concerns to the Trudeau Liberal government in regards to Huawei and Huawei technology involved in the country’s 5G network.
Speaking with The Canadian Press, Vance says he is worried about anything that would give China easier access to the Canadian military’s computer networks.
US President Trump has been warning US allies about similar concerns stating that Chinese spies could possibly gain access to secretive information. The US has told Canada that they may have to stop sharing certain intelligence information if Huawei is involved in Canada’s networks.
Within the Five Eyes network, Canada is the only nation that hasn’t made up their mind as to whether or not they will be working with the company. The US banned the company and New Zealand and Australia followed suit. Boris Johnson, on the other hand, decided that the UK would allow Huawei partial access to their networks.
“I’ve made it clear that I have concerns about China and China’s cyber efforts,” he added, “and clearly if there was to be an avenue, an easier avenue, for China to get into our digital networks then I would be concerned about that.”
During a press conference just last week, Vance singled out China for its “malign activities in cyberspace,” a sentiment echoed by several other Canadian and allied military officers.
Vance did, however, express confidence in the federal government’s ability to “mitigate” such a threat if Huawei was given access. He did not outright say whether Huawei should be explicitly banned from the 5G network.
“There are ways to mitigate it,” he said. “So it is very much an active file discussion at the highest levels of government and therefore entirely inappropriate to comment on the advice I have given. But it is of concern.”