The Canadian government has threatened to block Chinese telecom equipment firm Huawei Technologies from bidding to build our nation’s next telco and email network. Citing a rarely used national-security protocol, Ottawa has sent a clear signal to Huawei: keep your distance from Canada.
Huawei has been operating in North America for years without trouble but is suddenly the target of heated ridicule. Why? As the Globe and Mail reports, the Shenzen-based company cannot be trusted.
Huawei is riding a storm of suspicion. On Monday, a powerful U.S. congressional committee called the company a threat to U.S. security and recommended that its products be excluded from government computer systems. Canada’s national surveillance and cryptology agency, the Communications Security Establishment, has warned the military of potential security risks in installing Huawei’s equipment.
“They [Huawei] pose enough of a threat perspective that I wouldn’t let them into any government networks,” Ray Boisvert, former assistant director of intelligence for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, told the Globe and Mail. “They’re linked and tied to the Chinese state, and in my view they would, when asked, facilitate the interests of the Chinese military or the security intelligence apparatus.”
ReadWriteWeb cites the specific risks of using a Huawei device as including smartphone remote access; firewall breaches; remote access to servers; remote access and re-routing of network switches and routers; cyber attacks; and backdoors that automatically send information back to China’s government.