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ZTE pose a threat to UK national security warns security watchdog

Paul Lipscombe
April 16, 2018

Dr. Ian Levy warns of long term threats to the UK from ZTE 

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has warned UK telecoms providers that use of Chinese based ZTE equipment enhances the risk of a UK “national security” threat.

NCSC technical director Dr. Ian Levy wrote a letter addressing concerns to telecoms organisations regarding the use of ZTE equipment and services in the UK.

In the letter, which has been seen by the Financial Times, Levy warns that use of ZTE has potential for “long term negative effect on the security of the UK”

Commenting in the letter, Levy said: “It is entirely appropriate and part of NCSC’s duty to highlight potential risks to the UK’s national security and provide advice based on our technical expertise”.

This follows on from the US banning American companies from selling to ZTE for seven years following violations against sanctions imposed for illegally shipping US goods to Iran. As a result ZTE paid up to $1.2 billion (£837 million) in fines.

Levy added: “NCSC assess that the national security risks arising from the use of ZTE equipment or services within the context of the existing UK telecommunications infrastructure cannot be mitigated.”

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