United Kingdom includes Huawei ban in telecoms security bill

Joanna Estrada
Ноября 26, 2020

As a part of this new law, reported by Reuters, telecom companies in Britain could be fined up to 10 percent of the company's turnover or 100,000 pounds (approximately $133,140) per day if they contravene the ban on using equipment made by suppliers like Huawei.

The government ruefully noted that while telecoms providers are now responsible by law for setting their own security standards in their networks, the Telecoms Supply Chain Review found that they often have little incentive to adopt best-security practices.

"We are committed to driving up standards, and this bill imposes new telecoms security requirements which will help operators make better risk-management decisions", Levy said, according to the BBC.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson in July had ordered all Huawei equipment to be purged from Britain's 5G network by 2027 over national security concerns.

Outlined in the bill and to be detailed in secondary legislation, the new requirements mean operators could face fines if they don't take appropriate action to bring in minimum security standards for their networks and services and to limit the damage of any breaches. They could face a rebellion from some who want Huawei gear removed more quickly, though without the Chinese company, the UK's mobile networks will lean heavily on its Nordic rivals Nokia and Ericsson.

Regulator Ofcom will be given the duty of monitoring and assessing the security of telecoms providers.

Under the legislation, telecom companies also would have to rip out any existing Huawei 5G gear from their United Kingdom networks by 2027.

"It's disappointing that the government is looking to exclude Huawei from the 5G rollout", said Huawei vice-president Victor Zhang. Besides, it will eliminate the threat of high-risk vendors, said the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS). "Over the past two years the government has attributed a range of cyber attacks to Russian Federation and China, as well as North Korea and Iranian actors".

The government will also receive boosted national security powers to order telecoms such as Vodafone, BT, Three and O2, among others, to change policy on using allegedly "high risk" vendors. This will include carrying out technical testing, interviewing staff, and entering operators' premises to view equipment and documents.

"We are investing billions to roll out 5G and gigabit broadband across the country, but the benefits can only be realised if we have full confidence in the security and resilience of our networks", Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said.

"This decision is politically-motivated and not based on a fair evaluation of the risks", Zhang said.

Huawei for its part has always denied it presents a national security risk.

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