Labour outlines 10 questions the Government must answer on Huawei

Labour outlines 10 questions the Government must answer on Huawei

Shadow Digital Minister urges Government to set out clear plan for UK’s technological sovereignty

Shadow Digital Minister Chi Onwurah MP, has posed 10 major questions that the Government has to answer. Speaking today after a Westminster Hall Debate on the role of Huawei in 5G networks, Chi Onwurah MP said:

“With network design, cyber security specialists will always tell you to assume breach. But the approach of this Government seems to be to design in breach by a foreign power at a time of unprecedented geopolitical tension.

“There are no proposals coming from the Government on how they will eliminate our national dependency on a company which our own security chiefs say is high risk. We must urgently invest in our own technological capability so that our national security is not at stake.

“The Government claim to care about political sovereignty – about “taking back control” from foreign powers. It is high time they started caring about technological sovereignty, too.”

10 Questions the Government must answer

  1. How has the industry got itself into a position that our critical national infrastructure is  so dependent on one high risk vendor?
  2. In July the Government committed to reduce our reliance on “high-risk vendors” over the next five to ten years.  Can the Minister now say how?
  3. In July the Government also said it would legislate the “earliest available opportunity”.  Why have we heard nothing?
  4. What percentage of the UK’s currently deployed full fibre and mobile networks have the involvement of a designated high-risk vendor?
  5. From what proportion of our networks are Huawei now to be excluded under the terms of the NCSC advice?
  6. Why are the UK’s international allies taking such a different approach?
  7. Does the Government have a proper and detailed understanding of the knock-on effects for our international relationships, including our Five Eyes allies?
  8. Are blogs of guidance on Huawei on the National Cyber Security Centre legally enforceable, and will Ofcom be enforcing them?
  9. The UK Telecoms Supply Chain Review Report published July 2019 promised that Telecoms Security Requirements would be brought forward which would set a new bar for security.  When with they be legislated for, how are they to be enforced and with what resources?
  10. Many vendors and operators in the telecoms sector have finances do not look exactly sustainable or stable. What is the Government doing to assess the financial stability of the sector?

Chi Onwurah MP has additionally this week has published “A five-point plan to get the UK out of the Huawei hole” available to read at

https://www.computerweekly.com/opinion/A-five-point-plan-to-get-the-UK-out-of-the-Huawei-hole

Notes

  1. Chi Onwurah MP is the shadow digital minister. She is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering Technology and spent twenty-three years working as an engineer in telecoms and technology, including as Head of Technology at Ofcom and worked as a telecommunications engineer for twenty three years rolling out telecoms infrastructure in countries as diverse as Germany, Nigeria and Singapore.
  2. Huawei are bound by China’s National Intelligence Law 2017 to ‘support, cooperate with and collaborate in national intelligence work
  3. The UK is the only member of the global intelligence-sharing network Five Eyes to have chosen to accept Huawei into their 5G network building. With the exception of Canada, who  are yet to make their decision but are being advised to block it, all other members – the US, Australia and New Zealand – have blocked Huawei’s involvement citing security concerns.

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