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Author: Dan Sabbagh Defence and security editor

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Regulator looking at use of facial recognition at King’s Cross site



Information commissioner says use of the technology must be ‘necessary and proportionate’The UK’s privacy regulator said it is studying the use of controversial facial recognition technology by property companies amid concerns that its use in CCTV syst…

I believe Huawei is independent, executive tells UK MPs



John Suffolk says Chinese requirement to cooperate with spy agencies does not applyHuawei is not obliged to compromise its products in order to comply with China’s intelligence law, a senior executive at the company has told MPs at a UK parliamentary h…

Huawei ‘prepared to sign no-spy agreement with UK government’



Chinese telecoms company’s chairman says concerns about surveillance are overblownHuawei’s chairman has said the Chinese company would be prepared to sign a “no-spy agreement” with the British government to reassure politicians that it has no intention…

US lobbies mobile phone firms in anti-Huawei campaign



UK telecoms operators targeted over Chinese company’s role in 5G networks

US lobbying against the use of Huawei in British 5G phone networks will step up when the embassy in London hosts an event on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the situation with telecoms companies operating in the UK.

The extraordinary meeting comes a day after an official at the US state department warned publicly that any use of Huawei technology would prompt a reassessment of intelligence sharing with the UK.

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Huawei tech would put UK-US intelligence ties at risk, official says



Chinese firm’s 5G equipment described as security risk after council gives partial go-ahead

A US official has warned that the UK’s leaked proposal to adopt Huawei technology for 5G mobile phone networks risks affecting intelligence cooperation with the US, prompting further criticism from Conservatives opposed to the plan.

Robert Strayer, a deputy assistant secretary at the US state department, said on Monday that Huawei “was not a trusted vendor” and any use of its technology in 5G networks was a risk, contradicting the British stance.

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Mark Sedwill: UK’s top civil servant takes a hard line on leaks



Former ambassador to Afghanistan has spent much of his career on security issues

Sir Mark Sedwill suddenly became Britain’s most powerful civil servant last autumn, after it became clear that Sir Jeremy Heywood was terminally ill. He took the job without having to go through a formal interview process.

Already the country’s national security adviser, he had been deputising for Heywood and, having worked with Theresa May for several years, the 54-year-old was someone the notoriously reticent prime minister felt she could trust.

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Whodunnit? Cabinet suspects in the Huawei leak mystery



Ministers have denied being the source of the NSC leak, but which of them would benefit from it?

One of five cabinet ministers who spoke out in opposition to plans to allow Chinese telecoms firm Huawei to help build the UK’s 5G network at Tuesday’s tense meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) were being touted as the most likely source of a destabilising leak. As an inquiry led by cabinet secretary, Sir Mark Sedwill, began on Thursday, all five were rushing to categorically deny it could have been them. But, despite the denials, could one of them have been behind the disclosure?

Gavin Williamson

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Tory MPs seek to overturn May’s Huawei supply decision



Plans to encourage candidates in any leadership contest to ban ‘non-core’ 5G equipment

Some Conservative MPs are hoping to overturn Theresa May’s decision to allow the Chinese telecoms firm Huawei to supply some “non-core” equipment for 5G mobile phone networks by persuading any future party leader to consider a blanket ban.

The decision was taken in principle by May and other senior ministers at a meeting of the cabinet’s national security council (NSC) on Tuesday afternoon, and leaked that evening amid cabinet unrest over the issue, to the frustration of Downing Street.

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Huawei dilemma is a question of Britain’s post-Brexit future



The UK must weigh its ties to the US and Australia against the value of Chinese friendship

It may sound like an argument about technology, but in reality it is a battle of geopolitics. Should Brexit Britain yield to pressure from the US and ban Chinese hi-tech manufacturer Huawei from supplying kit to British mobile phone companies?

Or should the UK keep the door open to China – and benefit not just from cheaper technology but across the economy in sectors such as nuclear power, where the world’s most populous country has shown it is willing to invest.

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May to ban Huawei from providing ‘core’ parts of UK 5G network



Telecoms firm will still be able to supply some technology, but decision may anger Beijing

Theresa May has ordered that Chinese telecoms supplier Huawei be banned from supplying core parts of the future 5G mobile phone network, following a meeting of ministers on the National Security Council (NSC).

Huawei will be allowed to supply some “non core” technology to UK phone companies, insiders said, but several ministers in the meeting on Tuesday raised concerns even about that concession, arguing instead for a total ban on the supplier.

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