U.S. official shares intelligence on Huawei with Canadian government

A U.S. official has shared classified information with the Canadian government about risks associated with Huawei’s equipment.

This comes ahead of the government’s decision on whether it will allow the Chinese company to participate in the rollout of 5G across the country.

The deputy White House chief of staff and the representative for international telecommunications, Robert Blair, met with the Canadian Intelligence Security Service (CSIS) and departments of innovation and foreign affairs.

Blair provided details about “backdoors” that could infringe on national security and user data, as reported by the Globe and Mail. He also told the officials that Canada would lose access to U.S. intelligence if it allowed Huawei to participate in the rollout of 5G.

During the exchange, Canadian officials also shared details about malware problems that they encountered with Huawei equipment. The Globe and Mail’s sources were not able to provide more details due to the sensitivity of the information.

Blair told Canadian officials that restricting Huawei to non-core parts of the network, the way the U.K. did, would not reduce the security risk.

Former Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale previously said that the federal government was waiting to receive information from the U.S. regarding the possibility of a security threat. The information provided to the Canadian government is likely going to impact its eventual decision in its 5G review.

Further, Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains recently said that Canada “won’t get bullied” by other jurisdictions in making a decision about Huawei and 5G networks. He said that the decision will focus on protecting Canadians.

There currently is not a timeline on when the government will make a final decision on its review.

Source: Globe and Mail

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