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Huawei to the UK: We’ll sign a “non-spy agreement” and promise not to spy

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Chinese mobile technology company, Huawei, recently reassured the British government that it has no plans of gathering information from western consumers. The company said that its 5G technology will not be used for surveillance purposes of any kind.

The statement was made after the company was put at the center of a controversy on whether it should be allowed to enter the UK telecommunications industry or not. Some concerns were raised saying that Huawei is bounded by a law that requires it to cooperate with the Chinese government’s intelligence agencies in conducting surveillance work among consumers.

To prove that the allegations supported by the US government are not true, Huawei said that the company is even willing to sign a “no-spy agreement” with the British government. This is to reassure politicians that it has no intentions of letting the Chinese government use its 5G technology to gather information from British consumers.

The controversy started earlier this month when the British National Security Council approved in principle the proposal to allow Huawei to enter the British market by supplying “non-core” equipment.

However, the NSC decision was opposed by five cabinet ministers. Critics that include foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt argued that a Chinese intelligence law enacted in 2017 requires all companies to cooperate with the government. Hence, Huawei may be forced by the Chinese government to cooperate and do surveillance work through its mobile technology.

All hope is not lost for Huawei though, as the British government is still in the process of assessing the extent to which the telecommunications industry is using Huawei’s technology in 5G networks. Secretary Hunt gave the reassurance that the government will not compromise its intelligence sharing with the US government and its other allies.

For its part, Huawei is willing to wait for the result of the ongoing review of 5G network supply in the UK as its chairman, Liang Hua suggests that the UK government should base its decision from the outcome of a valid risk assessment rather than as a result of fear.

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