British security officials do not support a full ban of Huawei from national telecoms networks despite US allegations the Chinese firm and its products could be used by Beijing for spying, Reuters reports, citing sources with knowledge of the matter.
“We don’t favor a complete ban. It’s not that simple,” a source was quoted as saying on Monday.
The National Cyber Security Council (NCSC) does not think it is necessary to completely bar Huawei from British networks, believing it can continue to manage any risks by testing the products at a special laboratory overseen by intelligence officials, according to the report.
Sources told Reuters that the position is consistent with public statements made by the NCSC and British officials.
“As was made clear in July’s HCSEC oversight board, the NCSC has concerns around Huawei’s engineering and security capabilities. We have set out the improvements we expect the company to make, an NCSC spokeswoman said on Monday.
HCSEC refers to Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation. Centre, a Huawei-owned facility in Banbury, Oxfordshire in the UK.
Sources told Reuters that the next NCSC report on Huawei’s position in Britain will criticize its slow response to issues raised in last year’s report and detail tense relations with British officials.
The report, which is expected to be released in coming weeks, does not itself set government policy.
The results of a government review of British telecoms infrastructure is expected later in the year and will include recommendations on managing security risks, including in future 5G networks.
Huawei has set up security labs in Britain and Germany aimed at building confidence that its equipment does not contain “back doors” for Chinese intelligence services.
It has also offered to build a cyber-security center in Poland, where authorities have arrested a Chinese Huawei employee along with an ex-Polish security official.
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