Canada should oust Huawei, say security experts
Chinese telecom allegedly hacked a foreign network and shared information
Experts are warning Canada that working with Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei is a grave “mistake” after an explosive Australian report last week alleged the company had hacked a foreign network and shared the information with Beijing.
The Chinese multinational is currently in partnership with Canadian universities across the country as well as companies such as Telus, with whom it is developing 5G networks in Canada. According to The Weekend Australian, secret intelligence reports show Huawei officials were pressured at some point in the past two years to provide password and network details to infiltrate a foreign system. It is unclear where the pressure came from.
But several allied countries have voiced concerns about the company being a highrisk security threat.
“While the insights of our allies can’t be shared for national security reasons, the Canadian government and Canadians alike should be legitimately mindful of the warnings issued by the Australian and American government,” Christopher Parsons, a cybersecurity expert with Citizen Lab in the Munk School at the University of Toronto, said. “Taking their counsel very seriously is an appropriate decision.”
And given Huawei’s extensive partnerships with Canadian institutions to develop 5G infrastructure — from millions of dollars of research grants at major universities often with rights to intellectual property to agreements with large national telecommunications companies — Parsons said there are “very good” reasons for those concerns. The company has the advantage of selling their products at a “reduced rate” compared to Western competitors, he added.
“That has meant that in a time of budget cuts and crises, Huawei is a more cost-effective solution to achieve similar technological objectives with reduced budgets,” Parsons explained.
Starmetro reached out to Huawei five times for comment but received no response.
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Huawei has an extensive partnerships with Canadian institutions to develop 5G infrastructure in the country.