The GCSB ban on Spark’s use of Huawei technology means this government has gone from “honest broker” to poodle in a very short time. Pressure has been applied by the US and others, apparently fearing we are the “soft underbelly” of the Five Eyes spy network. Maybe its time we got out of that too – it was designed for war.
GCSB Minister Andrew Little argues that the GCSB decision is about the technology not the country. Nobody else believes that, certainly not the lobbyists and commentators including security analyst Adam Boileau, who said that argument didn’t make a lot of sense. He says Huawei’s engineering is pretty good. He also said this:
If all our networks and systems are provided by someone who one day we might expect to be in a shooting war with, then the ability to turn off all our communications systems might be a concern.
If indeed there is a concern in the GCSB that we might some day be in a shooting war with China, then the government and the GCSB should tell us now so we can tell them what we think about that. And there is some evidence that our Five Eyes partner the US is beginning to think like that. Their 2018 National Defense Strategy says:
Inter-state strategic competition, not terrorism, is now the primary concern in U.S. national security.China is a strategic competitor using predatory economics to intimidate its neighbors while militarizing features in the South China Sea.
New commercial technology will change society and, ultimately,the character of war. The fact that many technological developments will come from the commercial sector means that state competitors and non-state actors will also have access to them, a fact that risks eroding the conventional overmatch to which our Nation has grown accustomed. Maintaining the Department’s technological advantage will require changes to industry culture, investment sources, and protection across the National Security Innovation Base
Buchanan said Huawei was considered a “Trojan horse” into critical telecommunications infrastructure and New Zealand was thought to be the “Achille’s heel” of the Five Eyes.
Buchanan believed that approving Huawei technology could lead to New Zealand being left out of some intelligence sharing. This could have implications not just on national security, but on the security of New Zealand troops deployed in the field.
There’s the war contingency again. At the moment the only place we have troops deployed, and I didn’t think it was in the field, is in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Australians were ready to follow the US into war against North Korea. If there is any question of our troops being deployed in the field in or against China we should know now.
I’m totally opposed.