United Kingdom says can mitigate risk from Huawei: FT

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Whatever risk Huawei's work on national 5G infrastructure may bring, it can be managed and mitigated, the UK's top security body has said.

The UK's mobile and internet providers are already heavily reliant on Huawei for their networks, but the USA has argued newer 5G networks are more complex and using the Chinese company's kit poses an unacceptable risk. The U.S. has accused her of fraud and violating global sanctions against Iran, which she and Huawei have both denied.

Back in November, it was reported that the U.S. had reached out to its allies, advising them not to use Huawei parts in their telecom infrastructure.

Robert Hannigan, former head of the Government Communication Headquarters (GCHQ), the United Kingdom signals intelligence agency, recently wrote in the FT that blanket bans on Chinese tech companies like Huawei make no sense.

What are the security concerns over Huawei?

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The company has said it is open to supervision from the European Union if it helps assure governments, and has openly invited concerned stakeholders to come and see for themselves what Huawei is and isn't doing.

If true, the report goes against continued warnings from the United States concerning the threat posed by Huawei to Western nations.

The reports cited anonymous sources as saying that there are ways to limit cybersecurity risks, and that the U.K.'s decision would carry weight with European allies who are also evaluating the safety of their networks.

According to the Financial Times, the National Cyber Security Centre's (NCSC) believes it can deal with any risks, going against the U.S., whose government says Huawei's work on national 5G infrastructure is a potential national security risk.

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Earlier this month, the chief of Britain's foreign intelligence service said Britain should avoid relying on a monopoly provider of equipment in new 5G mobile networks, but that there were no easy answers to concerns about using Huawei.

Separately, Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada in December and faces possible extradition to the US.

Last month Ms Meng, who is the daughter of the Huawei founder, was charged with wire fraud that violated U.S. sanctions on Iran. The National Cyber Security Centre said this summer that it had concerns about the engineering and security of Huawei's networks.

People with knowledge of the matter said 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. While not commenting Monday on the media reports, it added: "We have set out the improvements we expect the company to make".

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