Huawei technology to receive closer scrutiny from UK officials

The UK government will reportedly place a bigger emphasis on its investigations of Huawei’s technology at the company’s Cyber Security Evaluation Centre (HCSEC), according to local reports.

UK officials have long backed Huawei – despite cybersecurity accusations from the US – and the Chinese vendor has been making significant progress with operators across Europe this year, but the UK government has raised concerns over its operations.

The HCSEC was set up by Huawei to reassure the UK that cyberspying rumours about its products are inaccurate, and has so far examined over 30 product lines for both mobile and fixed broadband networks.

However, the UK parliamentary intelligence and security committee voiced concerns about the number of staff at the facility from Huawei headquarters.

The UK intelligence agency, GCHQ, will now reportedly be given a greater role at the HCSEC, and a senior member of the agency will direct all senior appointments at the centre.

The Prime Minister’s national security advisor, Kim Darroch, said in a statement yesterday: “HCSEC is a model for government collaboration with the private sector.”

Despite recommending that the government should keep a close eye on the facility, Darroch said that the HCSEC operated “effectively” and so far the only problem areas had been “genuine design weaknesses or errors in coding practice”.

In a statement, Huawei said: “We are pleased that the model of the UK government, the telecom operators and Huawei working together in an open and transparent way has been recognised as the best approach for providing reassurance on the security of products and solutions deployed in the UK.”

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