The Times, 16 May, 2019
In a strongly worded foreword to the report from the Henry Jackson Society, the conservative think-tank, the former chief of MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove, branded the government’s strategy a risk “we simply do not need to take”. He called on the government to “reconsider the Huawei decision” and not to “worry about giving offence to China” or “be influenced by the threat of the economic cost”.
The report said it was quite possible that UK cyber experts would be unable to find any “Trojan horses” that existed in Huawei’s equipment even if they searched for years. One of the report’s authors, the Conservative MP Bob Seely, warned that Huawei risked becoming a “cyber-Hydra we cannot control”.
The Times, Charlie Parton, 16 May, 2019
If the smokescreen of a “golden era in UK-China relations” befuddles them, they could do worse than read the report put out today by the Henry Jackson Society. It sets out, with great lucidity, why allowing Huawei a role in the UK’s 5G would be a massive mistake, both for technological reasons and to avoid putting long-term trust in a company so closely bound up with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). American and Australian contributors to the report explain why their governments have banned Huawei.
5G will be a critical part of national infrastructure over the next 30 years. The report lays out how Huawei’s ownership (far from transparent, but despite its claims not a private company), its ties to and support from the CCP, as well as an obligation under Chinese law to help Chinese intelligence add up to a threat our national security. Ministers should read the report.
The Telegraph, Harry Yorke, 16 May, 2019
Huawei argues that these are “hypothetical scenarios” which misunderstand its role as a manufacturer rather than operator in the network, insisting that its founder has made clear it would never install backdoors.
However, Mr Turnbull has endorsed a wide-ranging report published on Thursday by the Henry Jackson Society think tank, which claims the UK’s risk assessment of Huawei is so “narrow” in scope and definition that it is effectively “useless”.
The report, co-authored by Dr Varnish, Dr John Hemmings, director of Asia studies at HJS, and the Conservative MP Bob Seely, claims the “purely technical mandate” used to assess Huawei fails to consider the “wider issue of trust” and the political and legal climate in which it operates.
The trio have urged the Government to block Huawei from the 5G network unless it can demonstrate a “very high degree of insulation” and to work with its Five Eyes allies to create a new system which considers a firm’s “ownership, legal environment and transparency”.
Their concerns are echoed by Sir Richard Dearlove, the former head of MI6, who in a foreword to the report warns that however “remote” the threat may seem, it is one “we simply do not need to take”.
Daily Mail, 16 May, 2019
In its report, co-authored by Conservative MP Bob Seely, the HJS said that while Huawei claims to be a private company, in China it acts like – and is treated like – a state-owned enterprise.
It said the company’s organisational structure is “opaque” and it is subject to China’s National Intelligence Law, which means it could be required to assist China’s intelligence agencies in their operations and research and development.
It also questioned claims the risks to UK security could be “mitigated” by excluding it from the “core” elements of the network and restricting it to “dumb” components like antennas.
The report said: “Our technical advisers have indicated that antennas can be modified at both the hardware and software level.
“Indeed, as 5G means moving more and more to software-networking, the ability of a manufacturer to re-purpose an antenna without detection will increase.”
BBC News, 16 May, 2019
In a foreword to a new report by the Henry Jackson Society think tank, Sir Richard said: “The fact that the British government now appears to have decided to place the development of some of its most sensitive critical infrastructure in the hands of a company from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is deeply worrying.
“The PRC uses its sophisticated technical capabilities not only to control its own population (to an extreme and growing degree), but it also conducts remotely aggressive intelligence gathering operations on a global scale.
“No part of the communist Chinese state is ultimately able to operate free of the control exercised by its Communist Party leadership.
The Guardian, Dan Sabbagh, 16 May, 2019
In a report from the Henry Jackson Society (HJS), the authors go on to claim Huawei “has long been accused of espionage” – a claim denied repeatedly by the firm – and notes that “while there are no definitely proven cases”, a precautionary principle should be adopted.
The document is co-authored by the Tory MP Bob Seely, who has already raised concerns about Huawei, and the expert academics Prof Peter Varnish and Dr John Hemmings. It adds to pressure heaped on the British government to reconsider letting Huawei participate in the UK’s 5G network from the US and Australia, whose intelligence agencies share information with the UK
Graeme Burton, Computing, 16 May, 2019
Huawei has lashed out at a report by the Henry Jackson Society, co-authored by a Conservative MP and a former scientific advisor to the Ministry of Defence, that argues that Huawei should be barred from every aspect of the UK’s 5G networks.
“The People’s Republic of China uses its sophisticated technical capabilities not only to control its own population (to an extreme and growing degree) but it also conducts remotely aggressive intelligence gathering operations on a global scale,” wrote former head of MI6 Sir Richard Dearlove in the foreword.
He continued: “No part of the Communist Chinese state is ultimately able to operate free of the control exercised by its Communist Party leadership… China’s military strategists perceive a world in which the military and the civilian will be fused into a single plane of conflict. The ability to control communications and the data that flows through its channels will be the route to exercise power over societies and other nations.”
While Huawei claims that it is employee-owned, the report points out that it is, in reality, 98 per cent owned by a trade union committee and that, in China, trade unions are subordinate to the state – effectively making it state controlled.
In addition, China’s government treats the company like a state-owned enterprise, lavishing it with up to $77bn in lines of credit to underwrite its rapid expansion in China and overseas.