News roundup: Huawei gets a green light on the UK's 5G
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News roundup: Huawei gets a green light on the UK's 5G

Leaky ship: Huawei to help UK build 5G infrastructure

Chinese telecommunications kingpin Huawei has been in the news for a wide variety of reasons in recent times, but undoubtedly one of the most intriguing developments has been the company's run-ins with the United States and other western powers. The latest development came this week as information from a national security council meeting was leaked to the Daily Telegraph, revealing that the UK would allow the Chinese tech giant to help build it's 5G infrastructure. According to the initial report, the NSC - which is chaired by Prime Minister Theresa May - decided that it would allow Huawei limited access to help build ‘non-core' 5G infrastructure, such as antennas.

The leaked decision prompted one of the US's most senior intelligence officials to warn the UK against the measure, saying that using Huawei is like giving Beijing ‘a loaded gun'. The US has been urging it's ‘Five Eyes' allies - the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand - to block the use of Huawei when it comes to the construction of national communications infrastructure. The US fears that Huawei has links to the Chinese government and that using the infrastructure provider could ultimately lead to espionage or other illicit cyber activity, a notion that Huawei has always categorically denied. Australia and New Zealand have already blocked Huawei from supplying key elements of their telecommunications infrastructure, so the latest decision out of the UK is likely to raise a few eyebrows in the US.

The UK government has condemned the leaks, and has said it ‘'cannot exclude'' a criminal investigation into who exactly leaked the information. The leak is quite a serious one for a few reasons, but namely it's significant as there has never before been a major deliberate leak following an NSC meeting, which tend to involve the government's senior security personnel discussing highly sensitive matters of national security. While culprits are rarely found historically speaking, former National Security Advisor Lord Ricketts has said the government will put ‘the fear of God' in the offender to discourage them from doing it again.

European Commission builds massive biometric database

The European parliament has voted to build a one of the biggest biometric databases in the world, containing biometric, and facial image data as well as other personally identifiable information of over 350 million people, including both citizens and non-citizens of the EU. The database is set to be called the Common Identity Repository (CIR) and will provide a single point of access of searchable biometric information for border officials in Europe.

Member of the European Parliament, Jeroen Lanaers, says the system is important for allowing enforcement officers to ‘make better decisions on the basis of better information.'

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Pat Martlew

Patrick Martlew is a technology enthusiast and editorial guru that works the digital enterprise beat in London. After making his tech writing debut in Sydney, he has now made his way to the UK where he works to cover the very latest trends and provide top-grade expert analysis.

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