Cabinet of CTVNews.ca, with a report by CTV News "Annie Bergeron-Oliver"
Published Friday, December 28, 2018 10:00 PM EST
US President Donald Trump can issue an executive order in the new year banning US companies using equipment made by Chinese telecommunications companies Huawei and ZTE over spying concerns, according to a Reuters report, a U.S. news agency.
Such an executive order will be followed by similar moves by countries like Australia and New Zealand, which banned Chinese companies like Huawei from participating in the development of their mobile networks to the next generation of 5G. Other countries are currently considering similar activities.
Digital Technology Expert Ritesh Kottak told CTV News that he understands why countries are taking action.
"Beijing can at any time ask these organizations to share information if they are related to national security or national interests," he explained. "(I) if the technology itself is compromised on a hardware level, then all communication – everything that happens on the network – will essentially be compromised and may be subject to espionage or espionage."
Canada – who arrested the chief financial officer of Huawei, Meng Vangzo, on December 1, ordered by US authorities for allegedly violating sanctions in Iran, faces increased pressure from their allies to make a similar move.
"We are right to be concerned," said cyber security expert Brian O'Higgins for CTV News. "If the government is motivated to do something, they will make mistakes in equipment … Even if you have access to the source code and can pour through it for weeks or months, if something is carefully hidden, it's unlikely that someone will found it. "
In apparent retaliation for Meng's arrest, two Canadians – former diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Sparrow – were arrested in China in December. A third, Sarah McCabe, was recently released after being arrested for visa problems.
Trade experts say increasing tensions between China and Canada have essentially cut off chances of concluding a trade agreement between the two countries in the near future.
"Trying to sell any kind of trade deal for the Canadian population, I just do not see it happening," said Patrick Leblon, who teaches public and international affairs at the University of Ottawa. "So, I think that any trade agreement, if ever there is one between Canada and China, is far away."
For its part, Huawei said in a statement that "it has been working in Canada for ten years and has never had a problem".
"Huawei remains fully committed to doing what the Canadian government needs in our operations now and in the future," the company added.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeaux earlier said any decision to ban Huawei from Canadian 5G networks would remain with national security experts.