Canada’s Prime Minister Trudeau said politics should not interfere with the decision to select 5G vendors
Two U.S. senators have sent a letter to Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, urging him to bar Chinese vendor Huawei from Canada’s 5G mobile network over security allegations, Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail reported.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Democratic Senator Mark Warner, vice-chair of the intelligence committee, said that allowing Huawei into Canada’s 5G wireless infrastructure network could interfere with intelligence sharing between key allies and impair cross-border co-operation in telecommunications between U.S. and Canadian firms.
“We write with grave concerns about the possibility that Canada might include Huawei Technologies or any other Chinese state-directed telecommunications company in its fifth-generation (5G) telecommunications network infrastructure,” the letter reads.
The lawmakers said that allowing the Chinese vendor to take part in the deployment of Canada’s 5G networks could affect the sharing of sensitive and confidential information between the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, which constitute the Five Eyes alliance that allows police, prosecutors and spies to exchange information to prevent espionage and terrorism.
“We are concerned about the impact that any decision to include Huawei in Canada’s 5G networks will have on both Canadian national security and ‘Five Eyes’ joint intelligence co-operation,” the letter said.
“The strong alignment between the United States and Canada in spectrum management has meant that American and Canadian carriers in many cases share complementary spectrum holdings, jointly benefiting from economies of scale for equipment designed for regionally harmonized frequencies. The entry of suppliers such as Huawei into the Canadian market could seriously jeopardize this dynamic, depriving both Canadian and American operators of the scale needed to rapidly build out 5G networks,” the senators wrote.
However, Prime Minister Trudeau said that he does not want politics to interfere in the decision to select vendors for the deployment of 5G networks in Canada, the Globe and Mail reported.
Trudeau also said that he he trusts the ability of Canada’s spy agencies to mitigate any potential security risks.
Last month, a top government cyber official said that the Canadian government is not considering a ban on the use of equipment provided by Chinese vendor Huawei. The Canadian government believes that the country has enough protection measures in place in order to deal with potential risks of hacking or spying from China.
Scott Jones, head of the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security, told government officials that the country’s facilities for testing Huawei’s equipment and software were superior to Canada’s allies and should be able to prevent security breaches.
In August, Australian authorities announced a decision to prevent certain vendors from taking part in the rollout of 5G mobile networks across the country, effectively banning Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE from involvement.
Huawei said the decision by the Australian government to block the company from the country’s domestic 5G market is politically motivated and not the result of a fact-based decision-making process.
Also in August, U.S. President Donald Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, which includes new regulations that ban government agencies doing business with Chinese vendors Huawei and ZTE.
The bill prohibits the U.S. government and its contractors from buying certain telecommunications and video surveillance equipment from Huawei, ZTE and other Chinese communications companies. The ban covers components and services deemed “essential” or “critical” to any government system.
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