Cameron Wants Cyber Security Talks With China

Tom Brewster is TechWeek Europe's Security Correspondent. He has also been named BT Information Security Journalist of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

Britain keen to have a proper cyber security dialogue with China, following claims of mass spying on both sides

Prime Minister David Cameron has called for a formal dialogue with China on cyber security issues during his trade visit to the world superpower.

In particular, it’s believed Cameron is keen to discuss cyber espionage, following claims China has sponsored attacks on major foreign organisations, and the Edward Snowden revelations of mass surveillance carried out by Western powers. China has repeatedly denied it has hacked any organisation, despite claims it has backed breaches of Google, the New York Times and other notable companies.

‘A proper cyber security dialogue’

China © Vepar5 Shutterstock 2012“I think that a proper cyber dialogue between countries is necessary and I have raised this with the Chinese leadership – that we need to properly discuss these issues,” Cameron said, according to media reports.

“It is an issue of mutual concern and one that we should be discussing.”

The UK is keen to ensure it has a thriving cyber security industry, with ministers pushing the message that Britain is ready to serve the world when it comes to protecting data.

Yet the Snowden revelations have led to a certain distrust of US companies, with Cisco and others suggesting they could hit revenues from areas such as China, and it remains to be seen whether British firms will now lose out because of the leaks.

Britain is expected to give Chinese networking giant Huawei the green light to continue to invest in the UK, following concerns about a centre run by the company that checks its own products for security weaknesses. Many former GCHQ staff work at the centre.

Huawei has almost completely given up trying to break the US market, after politicians warned any organisation off using the vendor’s kit over fears it was too closely associated with the Chinese government.

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