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Unread 2018-07-03, 10:33 AM   #6
JDLM
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Huawei cable could have compromised US military secrets



It's likely that US military and intelligence agencies had input into the decision by the Turnbull government to deny landing rights for the Huawei cable. BeeBright
A serving US cyber warfare officer has indicated military data was at risk of being compromised if China's Huawei was allowed to build an internet cable from the Solomon Islands to Australia.
Lieutenant Commander Jake Bebber of the US Navy said the $137 million cable, which is now being funded through Australia's aid budget, would have been a significant strategic asset for China, allowing it to access and disrupt military and civilian communications.
"The US would have been concerned about China laying that cable," he said via phone from Norfolk, Virginia.
"The fact that so much data would have traversed Chinese-made infrastructure certainly was an issue."

Duncan Lewis, director-general of ASIO, has been warning boards of continuing trade disruptions. Andrew Meares
Mr Bebber's comments suggest the US military and intelligence agencies had input into the decision by the Turnbull government to deny landing rights for the Huawei cable, before pledging to fund its construction.
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In mid-June the government confirmed this decision with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop saying the Pacific Islands needed infrastructure options other than those funded by China.
Mr Bebber, who served four years with US Cyber Command and is currently a cryptologic warfare officer, said Australia was "right to be concerned" about Huawei.
These concerns are likely to receive further publicity in the coming weeks if the government takes the advice of its security agencies and bans Huawei from providing equipment for Australia's soon-to-be-built 5G mobile networks.
This is likely to trigger a further round of tensions in the bilateral relationship, which is already at a historical low over Australia's foreign interference laws and tough stance on Beijing's territorial expansion in the South and East China Seas.


High-level warnings

In an effort to warn the business community that further trade disruptions are likely in the near-term, Australia's top spy and diplomat have been briefing business on the Turnbull government's position.
As The Australian Financial Review reported on Tuesday, Duncan Lewis, director-general of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), and Frances Adamson, secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, have been briefing boards over recent months.
They have warned of continuing trade disruptions, while seeking to explain why the Turnbull government has taken a harder line than previous administrations on China.


One senior company director present during a briefing said there was also an unspoken message the government's position on China would be undermined by criticism from the business community.
"Don't give us such a hard time," was the general message according to the person.
Despite efforts by the federal government to mute criticism of its China policy, one of its most outspoken critics is former trade minister Andrew Robb, who served under former prime minister Tony Abbott.
In a speech to the Minerals Council of Australia, Mr Robb advocated for Australia to pursue a more independent foreign policy and not get caught in the middle of a power struggle between China and the US.


He said the rise of China and India were inevitable and the US needed to find a way to share power in the region.
"Unfortunately, the United States appears yet to accept this inevitability, with both sides of the political aisle in Washington endlessly focusing on 'containment' of China – a futile and counterproductive approach in my view," Mr Robb said.
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