Canada's intelligence agencies are divided over a possible ban on Chinese telecom giant Huawei's 5G network technology, the Globe and Mail reported Wednesday.
These agencies were charged by the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to examine the costs and benefits of such a security ban, but also for Canadian service providers and consumers.
Global telecom equipment giant, Huawei is suspected of posing a national security problem by several countries, including the United States, Australia and New Zealand - Canada's partners in the "Five Eyes" alliance with the United States. United Kingdom - who have ruled out the Chinese giant's deployment of 5G on their soil and are trying to convince their Western allies to do the same.
The United States and Australia warned that Huawei could be forced under Chinese laws to help Beijing spy on or sabotage Western networks, which is denied by the Chinese group.
The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) are divided on the issue, according to The Globe and Mail, which quotes an anonymous source.
CSE, the Canadian equivalent of the US NSA, would support a total ban, while CSIS would encourage scrutiny and careful monitoring of deployed equipment.
Asked by AFP, government officials did not react immediately.
A final decision is expected in the coming months but may be delayed as relations between Ottawa and Beijing are plunged into an unprecedented diplomatic crisis for nearly a year.
Canada arrested a senior Huawei executive in Vancouver at the request of US authorities in December, and Beijing has since held two Canadians, including a former diplomat, in a reprisal-like manner.
Canada already prohibits Huawei from participating in public tenders for the supply of essential network equipment, such as routers.
A total ban, even on peripheral equipment, would result in additional multi-million dollar costs for Canadian service providers, according to the latter.
Two of the largest providers, Bell and Telus, would like to be able to use Huawei's equipment in deploying the next generation of ultra-fast mobile internet.
The largest supplier, Rogers, for its part uses the 5G technology of Swedish Ericsson.
© 2019 AFP