Ministers have been told that China has the capacity to spy on millions of Britons by “weaponising” microchips found in vehicles, home appliances, and even light bulbs.
According to a study provided to the Government by a former ambassador who has advised Parliament on Beijing, the “Trojan horse” technology presents a “wide-ranging” danger to UK national security.
The modules gather data, send it via the 5G network, and allow China to track the movements of targets for intelligence, such as people, weapons, and supplies, as well as employ the gadgets for industrial espionage. In the UK, millions of them are already in use.
According to a research released on Monday by the Washington-based consultancy OODA, the danger to national security may be greater than the risk posed by Chinese-made parts in mobile phone masts, which prompted the government to prohibit the use of Huawei goods in mobile infrastructure.
Senior MPs have expressed worry that Ministers have entirely failed to understand the danger presented by the “pervasive presence” of the modules, known as cellular IoTs. It urges policymakers to act quickly to prevent the sale of Chinese-made cellular IoTs in British products before it’s too late.
The report’s author, Charles Parton, stated: “We are not yet awake to this threat. China has spotted an opportunity to dominate this market, and if it does so it can harvest an awful lot of data as well as making foreign countries dependent on them.”