FAMILIES face being plunged into darkness after the green light was given to a tech deal with a Chinese firm, a report warns.
Household appliances could be switched off sending the country “back to the stone ages” as Theresa May allows Huawei to build parts of the 5G network.
AFP or licensors Chinese firm Huawei have a controversial deal with the UK
Devices in smart homes and the potential for driverless cars and virtual healthcare could also be put in jeopardy, the study says.
The PM was warned by several members of Cabinet over allowing the firm to supply equipment amid security concerns.
Chinese companies are legally obliged to co-operate with intelligence agencies.
Report authors Tory MP Bob Seeley and ex-government adviser Professor Peter Varnish claim smart antennae linked to software could lead to “physical areas of coverage be deliberately blanked out”.
The report, published by the Henry Jackson Society, adds: “The possibility of Beijing weaponising its operational control of the UK’s national infrastructure in pursuit of its national goals in a form of state blackmail on a strategic and global scale cannot and should not be discounted.”
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said any move could jeopardise the Five Eyes intelligence network between America, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Theresa May sacked ex-Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson over “compelling evidence” claiming he leaked details of a National Security Council meeting over dealings with Huawei. He denies the accusation.
Bob Seely MP, one of the report authors, said: “Our experts are clear, 5G manufacturers could hold the UK to ransom: ‘bend to our will or we switch off the lights’.
“What’s more, as every appliance in our home and every mode of transport that we use is plugged into 5G the threat grows greater still.
“A future miscalculation in our relations with China could present Britain with some stark and painful choices.”
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warns UK over China and Huawei
Huawei has denied being a security risk insisting the Chinese state has no hold over it.A Huawei spokesperson last night said: “Any risks associated with 5G should be assessed against the facts.
“These hypothetical scenarios misunderstand our role in the network architecture: Huawei does not operate the networks, it makes the equipment.
“The only way we could enact claims of this kind would be to install backdoors, which our founder has made clear we would never do, nor are we obliged to under Chinese law.
“The ICT supply chain is highly globalised. Cyber security is our top priority as a business and must be addressed jointly at a global level.
“Equipment vendors should not be treated differently based on their country of origin. Singling out one vendor does nothing to help the industry identify and address cyber security threats more effectively.
“We encourage an evidence based debate, not one based on unsubstantiated allegations backed up by zero evidence.”
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A UK Government spokesperson said: “The UK’s networks are structured to prevent harm, and our 5G networks will offer enhanced resilience – regardless of the suppliers used.
“Huawei’s presence in the UK is subject to detailed, formal oversight, and we have strict controls for how Huawei is deployed.
“It is not in any sensitive networks – including those of the government.”
EPA Theresa May gave the go ahead for the Huawei deal
Mike Pompeo warns UK that Huawei 5G role could put defence cooperation with US at risk