OTTAWA – The Liberal government says it is banning Chinese vendors Huawei Technologies and ZTE from Canada’s long-awaited blueprint for next-generation mobile networks.
The development of 5G, or fifth-generation, networks will give people speedier online connections and provide vast data capacity to meet ravenous demand as more devices link to the internet and innovations such as autonomous vehicles emerge.
The Opposition Conservatives and other critics have long pressed the Liberals to deny Huawei a role in building the country’s 5G infrastructure, saying it would allow Beijing to spy on Canadians more easily.
Some say Huawei’s participation could give it access to an array of digital information gleaned from how, when and where Canadian customers use internet-connected devices.
In turn, the theory goes, Chinese security agencies could force the company to hand over the personal information.
ZTE is a partially state-owned Chinese technology company that specializes in telecommunications.
Three of Canada’s partners in the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance _ the United States, Britain and Australia – have taken decisive steps to curb the use of Huawei gear in their countries’ respective 5G networks.
Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino also says the Liberal government will introduce legislation to further strengthen Canada’s telecommunications system and create a framework to protect national security.
©2022 The Canadian Press