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Friday, 12 October 2012 10:48

BT defends ties with Huawei

Written by Nick Farrell



British government suddenly worried


The British government is suddenly worried about its relationship with the Chinese telco Huawei. Despite the fact that the Chinese company works with BT and MI5  and Prime Minister David Cameron thinks that there is nothing to worry about, the UK government has suddenly got jumpy.

Sir Malcolm Rifkind, the chair of the UK's intelligence committee, claimed that the government has been quietly investigating Huawei for months, and plans to issue a report to the PM by the end of the year. The committee has been looking at Huawei's relationships with local tech firms, and is concerned with its ties to BT. The Chinese network giant has come into the spotlight following a report by US authorities into whether its ties to the Chinese government is a security risk, saying the firm "cannot be trusted". Huawei denied the accusations, saying it would hurt its business to be influenced by its home country's government.

BT has worked with Huawei for seven years and is a supplier for its fibre rollout. BT doesn't think the partnership is a security concern, and suggested Huawei's work already had government approval. BT said that it takes a risk-management approach on the use of components from Huawei and, like the UK Government, we see no need to change our position following the US Report. In a statement BT added that it worked closely with Huawei on commercial security best practice and our relationship with Huawei is managed strictly in accordance with UK laws.

Huawei works with most of the major telecoms firms in the UK notably working on 4G projects with such firms.

Nick Farrell

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