The federal government is currently conducting a national security review to decide whether to use Huawei in the development of Canada’s 5G, the next generation of wireless technology.
According to a poll by Nanos Research commissioned by The Globe and Mail, Canadians are two times more likely to say that Huawei should not be part of the network, with 53 percent against the telecom giant’s participation as opposed to 22 percent in favour.
Dale Jackman, president of the cyber security firm Amuleta, said he is not surprised that the majority of Canadians want Huawei banned, adding that those who know more about the technology and the potential threat Huawei could pose would be even more concerned.
“I’m a little surprised that the actual figure is that low … but I think that’s just a lack of knowledge of the subject,” he said.
Founded by a former officer of China’s People’s Liberation Army, Huawei is cited as a source of concern by security experts for its close ties with the Chinese communist regime.
“[China is] a country that spies on [other countries], steals intellectual property from Canada, so there is a very, very high degree of lack of trust with the Chinese government—and obviously with Huawei, because it is a government-controlled entity to a significant degree,” said Jackman.
Three of Canada’s allies in the Five Eyes intelligence alliance—the United States, Australia, and New Zealand—have already banned Huawei from their 5G networks.
The United States has been vocal in urging its allies not to allow Huawei in their networks, warning that there could be less intelligence sharing with countries that have a Huawei presence in their 5G networks since it could compromise U.S. intelligence.
“The position of the United States of America is that Huawei—which the Communist Party of China and their government have complete access to, all of the data that they collect—represents a fundamental compromise of our national security and of the national security of our allies,” U.S. Vice President Mike Pence told Fox News.
With reporting by April Zhu