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

Huawei and 5G — [Ian Paisley in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 10:10 am on 4th March 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Ruth Edwards Ruth Edwards Conservative, Rushcliffe 10:10 am, 4th March 2020

I thank my hon. Friend for that point. There are engineering problems in Huawei, and the Government and many UK customers have been very clear that they want Huawei to solve them. The news that I must give him is that if he started looking at the code of any supplier, he would see security issues. In security engineering, I am afraid that people make mistakes when it comes to software.

Equipment and performance is monitored in-life by telcos, and threat hunting is carried out across the whole network. Technologies are increasingly powered by artificial intelligence. AI look for anomalies of behaviour both inside the network, in terms of patterns of incoming traffic, and suspicious outbound traffic. Attempts to sabotage equipment or exfiltrate data at scale will be detected.

The National Cyber Security Centre, my former employer BT and many other telcos have all been very clear that they have not previously detected attempts at malicious activity by Huawei. If they had, they would hardly be doing business with them for their 5G networks. However, we cannot rely on the past to determine the future. That is why the cap on the amount of equipment provided by one supplier is so important, as it stops an over-reliance on one supplier in the network. Other arrangements, such as the escrow of source code, enable providers to isolate equipment in their networks and take over full operation of it, should that be deemed necessary due to mounting international tensions.