On Huawei, the US and UK Diverge

The West can’t agree on how to handle threats posed by China’s telecommunication giants.

Jacob L. Shapiro |February 20, 2019

The United Kingdom believes it can handle the risks posed by using Huawei equipment in building its 5G networks. That’s according to a Feb. 19 report from the Financial Times, citing sources familiar with the decision made by Britain’s National Cyber Security Center. The report was published just a week after a former director of the Government Communications Headquarters wrote an op-ed arguing that a blanket ban on Huawei equipment was nonsensical. British officials may not yet be willing to publicly declare this the official government position, but that hasn’t stopped the stance from being widely leaked to the press.

That the United Kingdom’s main signals intelligence organizations – of Bletchley Park and Enigma-codebreaking fame – believe the threat posed by China through Huawei can be contained is noteworthy in itself. But the implications of that judgment are far more important. If the FT report is accurate, it means the U.K. is publicly breaking with its closest

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