Monday, March 26, 2012

Cyber Security Concerns Excluded Huawei From Australian Broadband Project

Chinese telecom companies like Huawei and ZTE are facing growing concerns of cyber security. Many nations have shown their concerns regarding possible attack upon their critical infrastructures that are dependent upon telecom infrastructure if they use telecom equipments of these Chinese companies.

A common cause of concern is the possibility of existence of embedded malware and backdoor in the Chinese telecom equipments. While Chinese telecom equipments makers are trying their level best to convince the governments of various nations about the safety of their equipments yet the Chinese telecom equipment makers are increasingly being excluded from national contracts.

In India, although we have no applicable telecom equipments security framework of India yet Indian government has shown great concerns regarding telecom security. Indian government has also announced that telecom equipments must be certified by TEC in India before use. This is the reason why telecom equipment providers like Huawei and ZTE were trapped in telecom security tangle of India.

ZTE has also been facing allegations of providing e-surveillance equipments to Iran. Now it has been reported that Huawei has been blocked from bidding on Australia’s $37.5 billion national broadband (NBN) project. Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard cited cyber security concerns for taking such an action.

NBN plans to cater around 93 percent of Australian demand for Internet connections by 2017. Obviously, with such large percentage of connectivity, this broadband infrastructure would be the backbone of Australia's Internet infrastructure. So Australia took a very cautious step by excluding the telecom equipments of Huawei.

Huawei has maintained a positive attitude in this situation and it is expecting a future partnership with Australia in this regard. At the same time, Huawei is also working hard to remain open and transparent so that its credibility remains unblemished.

Meanwhile, there is an urgent need to formulate a new national telecom network security policy of India. In fact, a national telecom network security coordination board (NTNCCB) of India has already been suggested to be constituted in India. Some significant provisions in this regard have also been suggested by the national telecom policy of India 2012. However, by and large, the telecom security infrastructure and telecom policy of India are still defective and insufficient.

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