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5G Technology Issue

5G Technology Issue

Tag:GS3 || Science and technology || Information and communication || Policy

Suspicion on Huawei :

  • The concerns are over a perceived security risk posed by Huawei to countries it is operating in. For example, as per report in Bloomberg, Vodafone had identified hidden backdoors in the software that could have given Huawei unauthorised access to the carrier’s fixed-line network in Italy.
  • The US government has banned Huawei from the country’s networks and has advised the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada to do the same.
  • The US claims that Huawei’s close ties with the Chinese government and its army make it a national security risk.
  • Among other countries, New Zealand and Australia have blocked the use of Huawei’s equipment in the rollout of 5G networks.

Huawei offers india a ‘no back door’ pact : 

  • Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd said it is willing to sign a “no back door” pact with the Indian government to assuage potential security concerns.
  • The statement from Huawei comes against the backdrop of the Chinese telecom major battling intense pressure from the US, which is pushing allies to ban the company from 5G networks on suspicions of espionage.
  • A “back door” is a point of access in a network/equipment that guarantees entry into the network/equipment under exceptional circumstances. In its absence, the equipment supplier would not be able to access the customer’s network without consent.

India’s stand :

  • In India, there has been confusion among telecom operators on what to do about Huawei when they switch to 5G networks.
  • Huawei had been left out of India’s initial list of invitees for the 5G trials, along with another Chinese company, ZTE.
  • Now, Indian government has allowed Huawei to carry out trials for 5G connectivity, given that the necessary safeguards are put in place.

 Way forward :

The Indian Government or any other country must take an independent view to protect its own networks and data through its own standards, test mechanisms and policies. It is important to address cyber security risks through an evidence and fact-based approach, introducing checks and balances with a monitored participation rather than banning out of fear