U.K. cyber-security chiefs have said any risk posed by involving the Chinese technology giant Huawei in UK telecoms projects can be managed, following accusations levied at the Chinese government for using Huawei as a proxy to spy on rival nations. Commenting on this, Mishcon de Reya's Cyber Security Lead Joe Hancock said:
"Transparency is key on both sides. Foreign companies need to be more open in sharing information on critical equipment and the government needs to share its concerns more specifically. Without this transparency, it becomes a perceived issue of trade rather than a security one.
"Transparency doesn’t have to mean giving away intellectual property. Properly protected IP should stand up to managed scrutiny.
"It’s highly unlikely that we will be able to develop next generation technologies such as 5G mobile networks, autonomous vehicles or artificial intelligence systems without foreign technology. The U.K. doesn’t have the scale of investment or industry required.
"There are other issues with 5G networks. We treat telecommunications as if it were a utility like power or water. Faster speeds will lead to a greater reliance on telecommunications in our day to day lives, with more devices being connected than ever before. Adopting next generation technology will significantly increase the potential for data theft. Telcos therefore need to be able to offer secure 5G services, and the government should play a key role in driving this."
Joe's quote was picked up in Forbes.