OTTAWA — Allowing Chinese firm Huawei Technologies to help build Canada’s 5G wireless networks could give Beijing backdoor access to revealing data about Canadians, security analysts warn.
But at least one intelligence expert is skeptical the Chinese government would risk the international reputation of a marquee corporate star by making the company hand over such information.
As the federal government weighs Huawei’s possible participation in the next-generation telecommunications system, the ultimate question is, how much weight will Canada place on fears of inappropriate data-harvesting — or full-blown espionage?
“We’re potentially married forever because we will rely on their support — it’s their product,” said Cytelligence chief executive Daniel Tobok, a digital forensics expert whose company investigates cybersecurity incidents.
“This can be used for a lot of things, for manipulation of businesses to harvesting of intellectual property,” Tobok said. “On a national security level, they can know who is where at any given time. They can use that as leverage to jump into other operations of the government. They can influence elections.
“Everything is data today, literally. That’s why this is so dangerous.”