The British Intelligence and Security Committee (the 揷ommittee? Thursday attacked the government over handling of Huawei investments and raised concerns over national security threats from the Chinese telecoms equipment maker.
In a 27-page report, the committee questioned the government抯 strategy in relation to foreign involvement, particularly Huawei, the world抯 second largest supplier of telecoms equipments, in the UK抯 Critical National Infrastructure (CNI).
The committee said it was 搒hocked?that British officials didn抰 inform ministers about British Telecom (BT)抯 use of Huawei equipment in a ?0bn upgrade of the telecommunications network eight years ago.
The handling of the BT-Huawei case highlights a number of weaknesses in the UK抯 approach to deployment of equipment within the CNI, said the report.
The government must be clear about the sequence of events that led to ministers being unsighted on an issue of national importance, and take immediate action to ensure that this cannot happen again, the report suggested.
Huawei last year announced a ?.2bn research investment in the UK welcomed by the government in a cold current economic climate despite the Chinese company抯 widely-suspected relations with the communist party of China.
However, the investigation focused on Huawei抯 involvement with BT, is not just about a single contract and reflects a much broader challenge, the report warned.
About 20% of detected cyber attacks against UK interests demonstrate levels of sophistication which indicate that they are more likely to be State-sponsored, or related to organized crime, the committee noted in its last Annual Report.
The committee said the government抯 duty to protect the safety and security of its citizens should not be compromised by fears of financial consequences, or lack of appropriate protocols.
揟he National Security Council should ensure that there are effective procedures and powers in place, and clear lines of responsibility when it comes to investment in the CNI,?said the report.