Bell bullish on Huawei 5G as Ottawa dithers over decision
Bell Canada’s new boss says Huawei 5G is “top notch” and would employ the hardware on BCE Inc.’s telecom infrastructure–the same hardware security experts warn could be used to spy on Canadians and that United States outright-banned from its domestic network.
“Huawei has been one of our suppliers for our 4G LTE network and they’ve been a great partner, their equipment is top notch,” Mirko Bibic told Bloomberg in an television interview yesterday.
The Canadian military wants Ottawa to ban Huawei from Canada’s 5G wireless networks, according to the Globe and Mail.
High up military officials are urging the government not to allow the Chinese company a role in Canada’s 5G networks because they see the company as a threat to national security.
Trump has been warning US allies about similar concerns stating that Chinese spies could possibly gain access to secretive information. The US has told Canada that they may have to stop sharing certain intelligence information if Huawei is involved in Canada’s networks.
Within the Five Eyes network, Canada is the only nation that hasn’t made up their mind as to whether or not they will be working with the company. The US banned the company and New Zealand and Australia followed suit. Boris Johnson on the other hand decided that the UK would allow Huawei partial access to their networks.
Canadian MP Erin O’Toole is among those who have stated that they side with the Canadian military on the issue.
Canadian and Chinese relations have been rocky ever since the arrest of the company’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou. The arrest took place in Vancouver in 2018 after a request was made by the U.S. Since the arrest, China has locked up two Canadians—Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor in Beijing. Certain agricultural imports also came to a standstill.
Last month, the public safety minister noted that the government is paying close attention to the UK Huawei decision.
The Department of Foreign Affairs has said on Tuesday that they know of 123 Canadian citizens who are currently in Chinese jail. Two of these citizens are on death row, according to Blacklock’s Reporter.
Some contention was created when, upon releasing the number of Canadian’s detained, the Department of Foreign Affairs invoked the privacy act so to hide further details about these Canadians.
Dan Albas, who is the Conservative member of parliment for Central Okanagan-Similkameen, was irritated that further information was not released: “The Act gives too much insulation for the government … I would like to see a little more transparency from your department.”
When the Liberal Assistant Deputy Foreign Minister, Heather Jeffrey, was asked for clarification over these locked-up Canadians, she stated that these figures include “cases of arrest and detention.”
“I want to stress the number of Canadians in custody in China has remained stable over the last year,” Jeffrey added. The vast majority of the charges relate to drug and fraud charges.
Jeffrey, however, refused to answer how many Canadians exactly are on death row. Having said this, the Chinese regime have officially named two Canadians who are sentenced to be shot on drug-related charges.
In 2018, two Canadian businessmen were arrested without charge in China—seemingly in retaliation for the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou. This sparked an international incident between China and Canada, and the two Canadians still have not been released.
Boris Johnson has agreed to allow China’s massive telecom company, Huawei, to take part in Britain’s 5G network. He made the decision despite the U.S. asking Britain not to include the company in the next-generation communications for fears that they will have too much access to sensitive information.
According to CBC, Johnson has decided that Huawei can only access “non-sensitive” information and can only have 35 percent involvement in the 5G network.
The company would not have access to the core of networks or any sensitive locations like military bases according to the British government.
Donald Trump and the U.S. administration will not be content with the decision as they fear the company could be used by China to access secret information. The U.S. said that they would possibly reduce intelligence cooperation with London.
The new 5G network with its unprecedented speeds is said to be among the largest innovations since the internet was introduced.
After a meeting led by Johnson, Nicky Morgan, the British Communications Secretary said, “This is a U.K.-specific solution for U.K.-specific reasons and the decision deals with the challenges we face right now.”
Cybersecurity officials in Britain have noted that Huawei is always handled as a “high risk” business.
The White House has not yet responded to the actions taken by Johnson.
On Tuesday Huawei’s vice-president, Victor Zhang said, “Huawei is reassured by the U.K. government’s confirmation that we can continue working with our customers to keep the 5G roll-out on track.”
“This evidence-based decision will result in a more advanced, more secure and more cost-effective telecoms infrastructure that is fit for the future. It gives the U.K. access to world-leading technology and ensures a competitive market.”
Huawei has claimed that the U.S. does not want the company in Britain because they cannot compete as Huawei is the largest producer of telecom equipment in the world.
Within the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing network, Canada is the only country that has not decided whether to work with Huawei on 5G networks.
As Canada continues its rocky relationship with China, things remain uncertain. Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou has finished the first stage of extradition hearing but China still has two Canadians detained.
The U.S. has claimed that as the 5G networks grow and evolve, Huawei’s access to different parts of the network will be harder to monitor.
Reports that someone may have been paying actors to protest outside of B.C. Law Courts may actually hold some water after revelations emerged from multiple sources Monday.
According to Breaker, a man claims to have been paid $100 to stand outside the building with a sign. The man refused to give his name or appear on camera, and claimed that he was told he’d be appearing in a music video.
Instead of a music video, the man was brought to the outside of the BC Court House as Meng Wanzou, the Chinese tech royalty who was arrested in December of 2018 in Vancouver, was being escorted indoors.
The man was seen holding a letter-size paper sign which had the words “FREE MS MENG, EQUAL JUSTICE!” on it.
Other protestors had signs which were of the same paper stock, written in similar handwriting, and with black marker, according to photos.
“That was the promise [$100 to be in a music video], and then it was like, when there was all these cameras, for a long time I believed it was filming a scene where someone was coming out of a car,” he said. “So I was genuinely like, OK, fine to do this. Then reporters start showing up and, I don’t feel great about this anymore. I haven’t done anything wrong.”
The man says he asked questions about what his purpose was at the event, but he was given a “merry-go-round of non-answers.”
Another report of a paid actor came from Rebel Media commentator Keean Bexte, who reported that professional actress Julia Hackstaff was at the event holding a sign. Hackstaff has no prior history of social activism, and no prior support of China or their regime, according to Bexte.
CBC journalist Georgina Smyth also said sources were telling her people were being paid as much as $150 to show support for Ms. Meng at her extradition hearing.