The WIRED Guide to 5GAnd though the UK committee rejected a ban on Huawei equipment, carriers already exclude the company's gear from "core" parts of wireless networks. The committee recommended making this exclusion mandatory. Lamb's letter did not explain the reasoning for excluding the company from the core parts of networks but not other parts. The committee also said that, though there's no technical reason to ban Huawei gear, there might be ethical reasons to do so. Specifically, Lamb’s letter cites an Australian Strategic Policy Institute report that Huawei supplied equipment to surveil Uyghur Muslims in western China.Still, the committee's investigation could have been much worse for Huawei. In March, a UK government organization tasked with evaluating the security of Huawei's products released a scathing report warning of serious security risks in the company's software. The group's report didn't accuse Huawei of deliberately creating "backdoors," but blamed the problems on issues with the company's "basic engineering competence and cyber security hygiene."Lamb's letter acknowledged the security issues highlighted in the previous reports. But it points out that the UK government discovered these issues because Huawei allows the government to audit its proprietary source code. The government doesn't have similar access to code from other vendors, such as Ericsson and Nokia, so it's unable to say whether Huawei's products pose a greater threat than those made by other companies. The letter suggests considering the merits of establishing similar auditing programs for equipment from other companies.Opening its code to government inspections is part of Huawei's strategy to regain trust around the world. The company opened its Brussels Cyber Security Transparency Centre last March to help assure EU institutions that its products are safe to use.
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