back to article Excluding Huawei from UK's 5G will harm security, MPs warn

Excluding Huawei from the UK's 5G network infrastructure would harm resilience and "lower security standards", the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) warned today. It also called for Britain's next prime minister, which most think will be uncombable hair syndrome sufferer Boris Johnson, to help make a decision on the …

  1. AndrueC Silver badge
    Joke

    Britain's next prime minister, which most think will be uncombable hair syndrome sufferer Boris Johnson

    Is that why so many people are hoping that his premiership will be hair today, gone tomorrow?

    1. Halfmad Silver badge

      Because the grass is so green on the other side?

      Honestly are any of the alternatives in the Tory or Labour parties any better? I mean seriously.. what a state politics in the UK is in.

      1. GnuTzu Silver badge

        Re: Because the grass is so green on the other side?

        Are we finally getting to the point where we can see that there must be some dark folly behind what brings our World leaders to the foreground?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Because the grass is so green on the other side?

          You're only getting there now?

      2. Doctor Evil
        Pint

        Re: Because the grass is so green on the other side?

        "Honestly are any of the alternatives in the Tory or Labour parties any better? I mean seriously.. what a state politics in the UK is in."

        You might as well say "what a state the world is in" because, really, the grass is no greener on this -- or any other -- side of the pond!

        Adding the icon because this is all that's left to us as recourse. Cheers!

  2. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Impossible request!

    None of the probable candidates are capable of actually making decisions, let alone sticking to them.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Impossible request!

      The decision has been made by the White House, it is useless to discuss the situation any further.

  3. batfink Silver badge

    In other words

    In other words, the message from the committee is "Hurry up and ignore the "Security Risk" bullshit coming out of the USA".

    Which His Orangeness has declared doesn't exist anymore anyway.

  4. BernieStan

    I wonder how much it cost the PRC to get the committee to say this! It is like saying your car parts can be sourced more easily if you drop security requirements and get parts from the dodgy tyres R US or round the back of the local pub and thus your car fleet will run more securely and be cheaper. Really I feel all professional accountability is being lost in the UK. I also note that no responsible engineers have resigned apologised or been locked up and how long is it since the Grenfel fire - I mean fire safety is a fairly simple (in todays terms) form of engineering.

    1. martinusher Silver badge

      >I wonder how much it cost the PRC to get the committee to say this?

      If you've had any experience with networking kit, manufactured or outsourced, then you'd know that it doesn't get used without passing qualification tests. The supplier will have done these tests because they know that the purchaser will also do them so its in everyone's interests to ensure that the kit is working and is compliant.

      The "mysterious black box of weirdness" mindset is really a side effect of the mass use of not very well designed PC software. People's experience is shaped by this rather than the less obvious computers used in something like their cars so they naturally assume that telecommunications boxes would have similar quality failings to consumer PC rather than they being more like the engine management systems on their cars -- the goal with professional kit is to turn it on and ignore it for a decade or two.

  5. Doctor Evil

    Hurry up and decide?

    Why the rush? The urgency of the demand to "make a decision" is really "hurry up and say yes". Because, really, what's the difference between (a) saying no to Huawei 5G gear on the network at this point in time and (b) the status quo without a yes/no decision?

    Exactly.

    And so where do you think the pressure to make a "yes" decision is coming from?

    1. Nick Kew

      Re: Hurry up and decide?

      Why the rush?

      Because the Industry wants to get on with upgrading our comms infrastructure, preferably without political interference.

      Trump remembers how we (Europe and rest-of-developed-world) pulled ahead of the US with GSM. This time it has to be America First. The more rival countries he can hold back by bullying, the better.

      1. Keef

        Re: Hurry up and decide?

        'Trump remembers how we (Europe and rest-of-developed-world) pulled ahead of the US with GSM.'

        I bet he doesn't remember and I doubt he was ever aware of it in the first place. Even if he has been advised of it I doubt he would be capable of comprehending the advise put to him.

        'This time it has to be America First. The more rival countries he can hold back by bullying, the better.'

        That one I agree with you on.

        1. Brent Beach

          Re: Hurry up and decide?

          'I bet he doesn't remember and I doubt he was ever aware of it in the first place.'

          Of course he has no personal technical opinion.

          Since most US tech would be devastated if they could not sell to Huawei, he did not base his claims on their lobbying.

          His wacko advisors probably know nothing about it either.

          That means the pushback on China on all fronts, including telecom, is simply a trade war. When Trump thinks there is an opening for a Trump solution - another best trade deal every- all the claims about security will vanish.

          The same legitimate concerns continue to exist, as with any gear. Can it be hacked? Is it reliable? What is the hardware half life? Will it perform to spec under load?

          Trump's bogus security claims are probably slowing down the necessary testing and trials to verify the hardware.

  6. mithrenithil

    All comms infrastructure should be considered hostile....

    All comms infrastructure should be considered hostile. Unless you control and are constantly reviewing every bit of kit your comms are going over you can't consider it safe no matter who created it. Remember when the NSA were snooping the links for the Yahoo and Google data centers and they had to encrypt all their site to site traffic?

    Ignoring the possible Trump 6d chess tactics of using Huawei scare tactics for his Art of the Steal, wouldn't it make more sense to let someone else foot the bill and effort to produce super fast and cheap kit, whilst you spend the money and time saved on producing actual secure comms protocols?

  7. JCitizen Bronze badge
    Stop

    So no worries eh?

    So we are supposed to let a suspect company build an entire hardware network, and believe they are not going to seed the chips with built in malicious intent? It is bad enough we have to install workarounds for Intel's hardware vulnerabilities, but letting obvious bad actors just come in and devil may care??

    It was a few years ago, but my girl friend was visiting an Asian Pacific country to look at their chip design labs. She couldn't believe what she was seeing! She looked at one of the circuits that had piggy back chips acting as back doors to the CPU, and when she asked what she was seeing on the magnifier, they couldn't wait to escort her out of the lab!! This was more than a decade ago and they were so brash then, that they even put developer logos on each "modification", like they were bragging about their criminal expertise. Anybody who does business with these bad actors deserves to have their skivvies put over their face and go out in public to show just how clueless they are!!

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