Canada does not plan to follow the US and Australia by implementing a ban on the use of equipment and technology provided by Chinese vendor Huawei, cyber officials in the country said.
Newspaper The Globe and Mail reported the country believes it has sufficient protections in place to deal with risks of hacking or spying from China, following concerns from the US and Australia over potential danger to national security.
Scott Jones, head of the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security, told government officials the country’s facilities for testing Huawei’s equipment and software was superior to Canada’s allies, and should be able to prevent security breaches.
He added Canada has a very advanced relationship with telecoms operators, “that is different from most other countries”.
“We have a programme that is very deep in terms of working on increasing that broader resilience piece especially as we are looking at the next-generation telecommunications networks.”
Jones’ comments follow the passing of a law in the US which banned government agencies and contractors from using equipment supplied by Chinese vendors. Mobile operators in the country are also facing a de facto ban on buying network gear from China-based companies due to national security concerns.
Australia followed the US by effectively banning Huawei and ZTE from participating in the country’s rollout of 5G mobile infrastructure: Canada faced US pressure to do the same for its 5G network.
The US, UK, Canada, New Zealand and Australia participate in an intelligence sharing alliance named Five Eyes. There are concerns Canada would be in breach of its obligations to the group by not implementing its own ban.
Jones said Canada is attempting to explain to its partners how its testing system works to allay concerns.