Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Code rights in respect of land connected to leased premises

Part of Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill – in the House of Commons at 3:00 pm on 10th March 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Bob Seely Bob Seely Conservative, Isle of Wight 3:00 pm, 10th March 2020

The simple answer is that 5G and broadband are entirely different subjects, but I thank my hon. Friend for her question.

We have asked questions about state or industrial espionage issues with Huawei. We have been offered a no-spy agreement by Huawei and China. They promised not to spy on us. The idea that we would ever ask Ericsson for a no-spy agreement is nonsense. What would Ericsson ever want to know? How much IKEA furniture we were buying? So the idea of having to ask for a no-spy agreement is in itself rather dubious.

China has a dreadful reputation for IP theft and cyber-attacks. Just last month, members of the Chinese Liberation Army were indicted in the United States for the Equifax consumer credit hack, in which the personal details of 12.3 million Britons were stolen in addition to those of tens of millions of Americans. In 2015, cyber-attackers from China stole the sensitive personal data of 21.5 million US federal employees. Perhaps they are doing that because they want to buy everyone a birthday present, but somehow I doubt it.

There have been specific scandals in relation to Huawei. The African Union reported that every night between 2012 and 2017, computer systems installed by Huawei sent information from the African Union headquarters to China. As Secretary of State Pompeo says:

“As a matter of Chinese law, the Chinese government can…demand access to data flowing through Huawei…systems.”

Nobody has ever denied that that includes Huawei systems in western states and the United Kingdom. Is there a security risk? Is there an industrial espionage risk? The answer, without doubt, is yes.

The Government repeatedly reassure us that the spooks say it is okay. I respectfully take issue with that, for the following reasons. The proof of the pudding is in the detail, and what politicians say about what they have been told is sometimes not the case.