Google claims U.S. Huawei ban makes security issues worse

Posted Jun 9, 2019 by Tim Sandle
Instead of helping with U.S. national security, the ban by the U.S. government of Huawei is actually opening up a cybersecurity issue according to Google. This relates to Huawei needing to develop its own operating system.
A man looks at a Huawei mobile phone as he shops at an electronic market in Shanghai
A man looks at a Huawei mobile phone as he shops at an electronic market in Shanghai
Carlos Barria / Reuters
Google has issued a warning to the U.S. government that the ban imposed on the Chinese firm Huawei, by the Bureau of Industry and Security, actually places U.S. national security at a high risk. This is because Huawei has no other choice than to produce an insecure operating system. Such a system will be prone to exploitation by bad actors, be they governments and hackers. The U.S. government announced the ban of Huawei technology after the U.S.-China trade talks collapsed. This led to shares in some of Huawei’s biggest U.S. suppliers falling sharply. Other U.S. technology firms are also concerned they will be impacted in the fall-out.
Google has made the statement to The Financial Times. The claims by Google show how complex the Huawei case is and how behind the scenes discussion and lobbying continues. In May 2019, Google, Intel, Broadcom, Qualcomm, and others firms were stopped from doing business with Huawei, under orders from the U.S. government.
At this time, Democratic senator Mark Warner said: "We have to increase awareness among U.S. companies, investors, and universities about the tactics China is now using to undermine US competitiveness, security, and influence."
As part of the counter-lobbying efforts against the ban, Gizmodo reports that Google has put forward the case that by preventing it from dealing with Huawei, the U.S. actually risks creating two types of Android operating system. There would be the genuine version and a hybrid one. The hybrid version will most probably contain more bugs, and this would lead to Huawei smartphones to being at a far greater risk of being hacked. Huawei has indicated that it is developing a hybrid OS based on Android’s open source version.