China-based telecom giant Huawei has been cleared of all allegations of it being a threat to Britain’s national security.
Huawei’s products have been widely used in the UK for over a decade and are vital to running the British telecommunications network. However, the telecom equipment maker has sparked security fears in Britain and elsewhere; due to the fact its founder is Ren Zhengfei, a former People’s Liberation Army officer. It was feared that the Chinese government might use Huawei’s technology to spy on overseas countries.
A government-sponsored body, Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre (HCSEC), which includes representatives from government, intelligence agencies, and the company, was established in November 2010 to oversee the operations of the Chinese firm and to assess the existence of any potential threat.
An oversight board, which was set up in early 2014, after reviewing concluded in its first annual report that Huawei do not posses any significant threat to UK’s national security.
“The Oversight Board concludes that in the year 2014-15 HCSEC fulfilled its obligations in respect of the provision of assurance that any risks to UK national security from Huawei’s involvement in the UK’s critical networks have been sufficiently mitigated,” the board’s report read.
“We are content to advise the National Security Adviser on this basis.”
Huawei welcomed the findings saying that the HCESC demonstrates how governments, operators and equipment providers can work together.
“We welcome the publication of today’s report, as cyber security is a global challenge and requires government and industry to cooperate on an end-to-end basis,” said Ryan Ding, executive director of the Huawei Group Board, and deputy chairman of the HCSEC Oversight Board.
“Huawei is pleased to be playing its part in providing reassurance to its UK customers of the quality of our products and solutions through HCSEC. In the globalised, interconnected digital age, we must all work together to deliver the best solutions to the challenges we face.”