For some time, the UK under pressure from the US has dillied and dallied about the installation of Huawei 5G equipment in the UK. Lack of leadership, a UK conundrum or a US false flag? Should it bow to US pressure and ban outright Huawei 5G equipment on national security grounds, or allow Huawei’s 5G more advanced and cheaper technology?
On 14th January 2020, Reuters news agency reported the following, ‘British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said those opposed to the use of equipment made by China’s Huawei in the UK’s new 5G networks need to say what alternative technology should be used instead.’ On many occasions the US has made claims, through the Five Eyes (FVEY) security and intelligence alliance, that China’s Huawei 5G equipment and components represent a major national if not international security threat that would allow China to hack and compromise UK 5G systems.
PM Boris Johnson is reported as saying, ‘ I don’t want, as the UK prime minister, to put in any infrastructure that is going to prejudice our national security or our ability to co-operate with Five Eyes intelligence partners.’ Therein lies the UK problem, buy the best or have security compromised?
So what’s the truth about Huawei and who are Five Eyes? What is the US position on Huawei; does the US have another agenda – false flag? What conclusions can be drawn?
In May 2019, President Trump signed an executive order, citing a national emergency, that would ban the sale of Huawei equipment (and ZTE) in the US. Additionally, a further order prevents Huawei from buying technology and components from the US.
Huawei 4G equipment is used extensively across rural US, and the executive order will prevent many American telecoms from upgrading their equipment and being able to provide modern 5G. Furthermore, telecom companies such as Union Wireless in Wyoming will be forced to replace or upgrade their equipment from other manufacturers. In June 2018, Union Wireless said 75% of its equipment in Colorado came from Huawei.
But its not just the big telecoms that are being hit by the executive order: small not-for-profit organisations and charities are already being forced to rip out Huawei equipment and replace with alternative equipment. This enforced replacement of Huawei and ZTE equipment will have staggering cost implications. Research by Co-Bank, a national cooperative bank serving vital industries across rural America (US), claims the cost to do so could reach $1 billion. Huawei and ZTE equipment is mainly being replaced by Ericsson equipment, and US Cellular has selected Ericsson for its 5G network. Reports from the US, claim that replacing Huawei equipment with US preferred supplier Ericsson will cost three-times more and have staggering cost implications for US consumers. Furthermore, annual US sales of goods and services to Huawei amount to $11 billion. Its loss could cost US industry tens of thousands of jobs and bankrupt businesses.
A European ban on Huawei would have major cost implications claim a Reuters report (17/06/2019): ‘A ban on buying telecoms equipment from Chinese firms would add about 55 billion euros ($62 billion) to the cost of 5G networks in Europe and delay the technology by about 18 months’.
The Five Eyes alliance claim that it is ‘madness’ to to use Huawei equipment on the grounds of security. Who are the Five Eyes? According to Wikipedia, Five Eyes is an anglophone intelligence alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. During the Cold War the ECHELON surveillance system was initially developed by Five Eyes alliance to monitor communications of the former Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc countries… it is now used to monitor billions of private communications worldwide. Edward Snowden, an American whistle-blower, claims that ‘The Five Eyes alliance is… some sort of a supra-national intelligence organisation that doesn’t answer to the laws of its own countries.’
In a world post the Iraq War (2003) and weapons of mass destruction (WMD). The world has woken up to false reporting and new phrases have become common place in the English vocabulary: ‘dodgy dossier’, ‘fake news’, ‘false flag’. The Chilcott Inquiry (Iraq Inquiry), report published in 2016, identified the lengths to which the UK’s security services MI6 (SIS), ( being part of Five Eyes ) passed on bogus information, and did not correct Prime Minister Blair when the ‘Dodgy Dossier’ was ‘sexed up’, until some time well after the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Government and the people, should be concerned about claims by the Five Eyes alliance, given the possibility of US false flag reports (a covert operation designed to deceive). To be fair, it may well be that Five Eyes information, probably emanating from the US National Security Agency (NSA), is credible intelligence in relation to some aspects of Huawei equipment security?
Perhaps it is possible to glean the nature of the security issues by investigating US cyber hacking activities? According to the German magazine Der Spiegel (29/12/2013): ‘The US National Security Agency (NSA) has compromised multiple makes of switches and routers manufactured by market leaders Cisco Systems, Juniper Networks and Huawei’ The NSA has developed cyber tools with which to gain unauthorised, possibly illegal and covert access to hundreds hardware and software products and hard drives. Furthermore, according to same Der Spiegel article, The NSA’s crack hacking unit is the Tailored Access Operations (TAO), ‘…. [this] hacking unit is considered to be the intelligence agency’s top secret weapon. It maintains its own covert network, infiltrates computers… these on-call digital plumbers are involved in many sensitive operations conducted by American intelligence agencies. TAO area of operations ranges from counterterrorism to cyber attacks to traditional espionage… it exploits the technical weaknesses of the IT industry, from Microsoft to Cisco and Huawei, to carry out its discreet and efficient attacks. Futhermore, according to reports (The New York Times, 22/3/2014): in an operation code-named ‘Shotgiant’, the TAO hacked into Huawei headquaters’ servers in Shenzhen, China, and obtained technical data and monitored Huawei executives’ communications.
On the one hand, it is possible to speculate that if the US through the NSA’s TAO are carrying out cyber hacking of this nature; then it is theoretically possible for China, Russia and other countries to be involved in similar activities. On the other hand, and on are positive note: A New York Times newspaper report (17/5/2019) stated that: ‘Huawei is the acknowledged industry leader in 5G technology. Blocking it could harm the American economy by preventing the United States from keeping pace with the rest of the world in rolling out 5G networks. The United States could end up falling behind the many European and Asian countries that plan to introduce 5G networks — ensuring that those countries take the lead in delivering new products and services to their residents, just as American companies did when the country moved quickly to roll out 4G, the previous generation of wireless tech. Most important, a ban would fail to achieve its goal of making the country’s digital networks more secure.’
The same would of course be true in the UK: banning Huawei 5G would have serious cost implications for the 5G infrastructure and delayed roll out. It would not necessarily make our systems safe against cyber hacking, US NSA cyber tools attacks or indeed false flag attacks.
Does the US have another agenda? For many years, the US was the world’s leading manufacturer, but no longer, having being displaced by China much to the envy and angst of the US. It is also a fact, that in many areas of technology it has been surpassed by not only China but also Japan, South Korea and Singapore. Clearly, the US see a need to catch up in many areas of technology especially with China. A policy of destabilising China and damaging Huawei exports would seem to some, to help improve the US technological and economic positions. Is there an alternative 5G supplier? PM Boris Johnson highlighted the issue of alternative 5G technology suppliers?
Well, the US preferred new 5G supplier is Ericsson a Swedish-based company having a 25% US share capital base. Remarkably, there has been relatively little focus or security concerns about Ericsson’s Chinese manufacturing facilities. Ericsson manufactures many of its products electronic boards in China. According to the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper (13/08/2018), the board of Ericsson’s Chinese joint venture partner, Nanjing Panda Electronics has connections to the Chinese Communist Party (CPC). Furthermore, according to Wikipedia, ‘ On 7 December 2019, Ericsson agreed to pay more than $1.2 billion (€1.09 billion) to settle US criminal and civil investigations into foreign corruption… a campaign of corruption… across China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Kuwait and Djibouti.’
In order to bypass recent executive orders relating to export of 5G equipment from China, the US has recently concluded a deal for Ericsson to build a next-generation 5G smart manufacturing factory in Lewisville, Texas. Employing 100 employees, this new Ericsson factory aims to produce its first 5G base station in March 2020.
It therefore seems highly plausible, that the US is steering the UK towards purchasing costly US-manufactured Ericsson 5G equipment, on the basis of a Five Eyes alliance false flag, or controversial anti-Huawei campaign.
US NSA cyber hacking activities have proven that much electronic equipment is hackable. It is quite possible that Huawei 5G and routers software or machine code needs some improvement. That’s not to ban Huawei, but to work with Huawei: to identify software weaknesses and harden cyber attack capability. The UK tech sector could forge a strong relationship with Huawei, whereby the UK provides research and software expertise so as to further improve Huawei 5G equipment security.
In a post-Brexit world, the UK needs to develop strong international and economic policies. The financial, economic and business benefits of Huawei 5G equipment, certainly outweigh concerns emanating from the Five Eyes alliance. Especially from a US government desperate to play catch-up with China’s Huawei 5G technology.
© 2020 Dr Robert Frew. All rights reserved