The Federal Government has banned Chinese telecommunication technology provider, Huawei, from tendering for lucrative NBN contracts in Australia in following advice from the Australian Securities Intelligence Organisation (ASIO).
The Australian Financial Review reported that the Attoney General Nicola Roxon's office had banned Huawei from NBN tenders, saying that the decision stemmed from concerns that doing business with Huawei could make the NBN vulnerable to cyber-attacks originating out of China.
It was today revealed that this advice was provided by ASIO and ignored NBN Co endorsement of Huawei as a major supplier.
"The National Broadband Network is the largest nation-building project in Australian history, and it will become the backbone of Australia's information infrastructure. As such, and as a strategic and significant government investment, we have a responsibility to do our utmost to protect its integrity and that of the information carried on it," Ms Roxon’s office said in a statement.
The AFR said that the Attorney-General Nicola Roxon’s Office move to stop Huawei in participating in the NBN rollout began late last year.
The government blocked Huawei’s bid with Alcatel Lucient to supply gigabit passive optical network equipment to the NBN.
Huawei's Australian spokesman, Jeremy Mitchell rejected the government's claims against the company.
“If we were found to do one thing wrong, to have one back door in any of our equipment, our company would fold overnight… there is no way in the world that we would ever risk that,” he told ABC’s AM program this morning.
“And to be honest anyone that would argue that the Chinese government would ask us to do that, I think shows a bit of lack of understanding about modern China.”