Strayer fires warning to UK over Huawei

Published by Scott Challinor on February 21st 2020, 10:10am

US deputy assistant secretary for cyber and communications, Robert Strayer, has warned Boris Johnson's government that using controversial Chinese firm Huawei in the UK's 5G rollout could compromise the sharing of intelligence between the UK and US.

Strayer told the BBC: "If countries adopt untrustworthy vendors in 5G technology, it will jeopardise our ability to share information at the highest levels.”

However, Strayer did say that the White House believes the UK could yet go back on its decision to grant Huawei limited access to the network.

Strayer said: "Our understanding is that there might have been some initial decisions made but conversations are continuing.”

He added that dialogue between the US and UK would continue and that he was confident a solution could be found.

Strayer has been touring European countries this week and issuing warnings about the perceived link between Huawei and the Chinese state and how that might threaten national security.

Speaking in Madrid, Strayer said that allowing Huawei access to local networks could "undermine the critical infrastructure riding on 5G networks as well as exfiltrate sensitive data."

Strayer also dismissed the idea that Huawei offered higher quality technology and products than its rival operators.

He said: "They have engaged in a propaganda campaign to make people around the world think that they are the only alternative. It is simply not true.

"Nokia, Ericsson and Samsung provide an equivalent quality in their product and don't put individuals' information and business information at risk.”

Mick Mulvaney, the White House chief of staff, has visited Downing Street this week to continue talks on the Huawei saga with the government, but the UK stance on using the firm in its 5G network remains unchanged for now, according to a government spokesperson.

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Authored By

Scott Challinor
Business Editor
February 21st 2020, 10:10am

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