Britain to review Huawei security centre

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Britain to review Huawei security centre

Follows parliamentary recommendation.


Britain will review the operations of a cyber security centre in southern England run by China's Huawei HWT.UL to ensure that the country's telecommunications network is protected, the government said on Thursday.

The government said it had agreed to a recommendation made by parliament in June to conduct a review of the Huawei site in order to maintain "confidence in the security of UK telecommunications networks".

The parliamentary report came amid mounting concerns on both sides of the Atlantic about the potential security threat stemming from the access to communication infrastructure given to Huawei, founded in 1987 by Ren Zhengfei, a former People's Liberation Army officer.

The Chinese company, the world's No.2 telecoms equipment maker, has a multi-billion pound deal to supply systems to BT Group Plc, Britain's largest telecoms operator, stretching back to 2005.

Parliament's intelligence and security committee said last month that Huawei's involvement in Britain's telecoms network raised national security issues, and that China was suspected of being one of the main perpetrators of state-sponsored cyber espionage.

It said Britain's intelligence agencies were concerned that the Chinese state could exploit vulnerabilities in Huawei's equipment to gain access to the BT network.

Huawei has denied having any links with the Chinese government or military and says it receives no financial support from the Chinese government.

The British government recommended that employees from Britain's GCHQ spy agency oversee Huawei's cyber security centre, a facility opened in 2010 to test new hardware and software for security risks before it is connected up to Britain's critical infrastructure.

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