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US warns UK that Huawei poses a risk to national security

By Charlotte Ricca

Chinese telecoms company could steal state secrets, warns US security adviser

Washington has warned the UK about allowing Huawei to participate in its ultrafast 5G networks, saying it poses a risk to the British secret intelligence.

US national security adviser Robert O’Brien said that allowing the Huawei access to the UK’s 5G networks risked giving the Chinese Communist party access to the “most intimate” details of the British population.

"They are just going to steal wholesale state secrets, whether they are the UK's nuclear secrets or secrets from MI6 or MI5," O'Brien told the FT .

“It is somewhat shocking to us that folks in the UK would look at Huawei as some sort of a commercial decision. 5G is a national security decision,” he added.

Donald Trump added the Chinese telecoms company to its trade blacklist in May, due to national security concerns. The United States has advised other nations to do the same.

O’Brien said Europe, Japan, New Zealand and Australia were “starting to understand that letting Huawei into their countries is like letting the Trojan horse into Troy”.

Britain is one of the 'Five Eyes' partners, along with the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. This intelligence-sharing network works closely together to collect mass surveillance data and share it with the relevant parties.

The US fears that if the UK allows Huawei to participate in their 5G network, it could limit intelligence sharing.

FURTHER READING: New US export rules are good news for tech companies

FURTHER READING: China orders removal of all foreign PCs and software from state offices

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