Queen's Speech: Plans to crack down on 'high risk' Huawei with £100,000-a-day fines

PLANS to boost cybersecurity and crack down on "high risk" firms like Huawei have been teased in today's Queen's Speech.

A major Government push to block Huawei from Britain's 5G network and fine networks that don't play ball is about to begin.

The House of Commons is already processing a new Bill that will do just that.

"My Government will introduce measures to increase the safety and security of its citizens," Her Majesty said today at the State Opening of Parliament 2021.

The new Telecommunications Security Bill is designed to counteract national security threats.

It's far-reaching, managing the infrastructure that handles everything from internet traffic to mobile networks and even phone calls.

The bill introduces a number of powers specifically designed to boost the UK's cybersecurity.

This includes new legal duties on telecoms firms to increase security across the entire UK network.

It means companies like BT and Virgin Media will be legally obliged to improve nationwide cybersecurity.

The Government will also get new powers to place controls on the use of services and equipment from high-risk vendors.

Chinese tech firms Huawei and ZTE have both been named as "high risk" by the National Cyber Security Centre.

Telecoms watchdog Ofcom will have new responsibilities to monitor the security of network providers.

And fines of up to 10% of turnover or £100,000 a day can be dished out to networks that fail to meet the required standards.

Huawei – a quick history

Here’s what you need to know…

  • Huawei is a Chinese technology company headquartered in Shenzhen
  • It was founded in 1987, and focused on manufacturing phone switches
  • Today, Huawei sells consumer smartphones, tablets and laptops – as well as telecoms network infrastructure
  • By the end of 2018, Huawei had sold 200million smartphones
  • And that same year, Huawei recorded a revenue of £86.2billion, with £7.1billion in profit
  • Huawei has been at the centre of spying allegations for the past few years
  • Officials in the US are concerned Huawei's involvement in building 5G networks could lead to cyber-espionage
  • However, Huawei continues to strongly deny any spying activities

The UK has already set out a long-term timetable to remove Huawei from 5G networks by the end of 2027.

And mobile network operators have been warned to stop installing Huawei equipment in 5G networks by the end of September this year.

The bill will make sure that the Government can legally enforce these plans.

It also means the Government can take action against other vendors deemed "high risk" in the future.

The bill is currently in the report stage in the House of Commons.

In other news, Facebook has been urged to scrap a controversial "Instagram for Kids" app.

Twitter is testing out a Tip Jar feature that will let you send money to your favourite tweeters.

China is claiming to be a world leader in 6G technology, according to reports.

And, Vitalik Buterin has become the world's youngest crypto billionaire after the digital currency he co-founded surged in price.

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