US spying claims are ‘belittling national security’, says Huawei’s cyber security chief

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No threat: John Suffolk, a former top UK civil servant, says concerns about Huawei were based on trying to thwart competition from China


US spying claims are ‘belittling national security’, says Huawei’s cyber security chief

The cyber security chief of a controversial Chinese firm has accused the US of ‘belittling national security’ with spying claims.

John Suffolk, a former top UK civil servant, says concerns about Huawei were based on trying to thwart competition from China.

He said there was ‘not much more’ Huawei could do to persuade critics, and called on British ministers not to ban it from 5G networks.

No threat: John Suffolk, a former top UK civil servant, says concerns about Huawei were based on trying to thwart competition from China

Huawei is a major provider of telecoms equipment used by companies such as BT and Vodafone to transmit mobile phone and internet data.

But the US warns the firm’s kit could be vulnerable to snooping by China, and wants European allies to shun it.

In China yesterday, Suffolk said: ‘They’re belittling national security. Some people you are never going to convince. 

‘Whether it is because they believe Huawei are terrible people or China is a terrible country, you don’t know.’

The UK is reviewing rules which say who telecoms firms can source equipment from.

Suffolk, 61, called on the UK to set out security standards, rather than banning Huawei.

He was formerly chief information officer at Whitehall. His move to Huawei in 2011 saw him grilled by officials before he took the post.

 

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