Intelligence operatives from the Five Eyes intel network briefed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the potential security risk posed by Huawei, the large Chinese high-tech firm that concerns some lawmakers in regard to user privacy.
The Five Eyes network is a carefully guarded but high-level intelligence club composed of five World War II allies: the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. They share intelligence related to espionage, terrorism and organized crime.
Sources told the Globe and Mail that Trudeau met twice with Five Eyes directors last April and July — when he was warned that Huawei often acted as a surrogate for the Chinese government. After prodding from the United States, which accuses the company of violating an embargo of Iran, Canadian authorities arrested Huawei’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, this month.
According to the Globe, Trudeau was informed that Canada should join its allies in banishing Huawei’s 5G technology because the company’s close association with the Chinese government makes it a waiting security breach. (RELATED: Australia Bans Huawei And ZTE From 5G Development Over Ties To Chinese Government)
The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) withheld comment on Five Eyes discussions — on Huawei or any other matters. (RELATED: Huawei Denies Its Totally Controlled By Beijing)
“CSIS will not comment on the nature or substance of meetings held with its Five Eyes partners. Canada’s relationship with these partners remains strong and is focused on keeping Canada safe from a variety of threats,” CSIS spokesperson Tahera Mufti told the Globe said in a statement.
Canada is facing Chinese retaliation for arresting Meng and could also see its efforts to forge a free trade agreement with the Asian superpower scuttled. Although Meng is out of jail on a $10 million (CAD) bail bond, she could be extradited to the United States at any time.