Why UK is concerned about Huawei: expert explains to James O'Brien

14 July 2020, 14:06

By Seán Hickey

This caller explained to James O'Brien that the government's decision to ban Huawei from the UK's 5G network was to protect national security.

Phil called in from Gibraltar amid the government's announcement that Huawei will be banned from the UK's 5G network entirely by 2027. The counter-terrorism expert told James that the decision is "definitely to do with security infrastructure" of the UK, as there are concerns over

James, self-confessed to not be well versed on the government's relationship with China and Huawei told Phil that he'd "rather it was genuine security concerns rather than being yanked on the end of Donald Trump's chain."

"Nothing is going to change in terms of China's ability" the counter-terrorism expert said, "more China's willingness to deploy that technology against us."

Phil stressed the point that now it is in the open that China has the ability to conduct cyber attacks through this infrastructure we now are positioning ourselves in a way to be aware of that threat.

James put it as "a security precaution for a world that we don't currently live in, but we could be living in soon."

Phil told him that "the software being controlled entirely by China that is where the concern is" because of Huawei's links with the Chinese Communist Party which potentially could gain access to data Huawei collect.

James noted that "they could flick a switch and bring us to a standstill" with access to the UK's 5G network.

"There's no real question if they install the infrastructure they will take all the data and that would be metadata, that would be content, and it will be a question of whether they'd use that against us in the future." Phil said.

James asked him how big a deal it would be to see another two to three year delay on the roll out of 5G in the UK as Huawei pull out, but Phil told him that "we're already so far behind the rest of the world...its not really gonna matter."

"If you're already in last place, does it really matter if the gap between you and second last grows even bigger?" James joked.

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