The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport delivered a statement to the Commons on the future of 5G in the UK. I noted to the minister that last Friday the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) released a statement on the benefits of diversification of 5G providers. What we mean by this is making sure the UK doesn’t keep all its eggs in one basket. It is really important that we use a mix of companies to provide our IT infrastructure so that any security threats we face are minimised.
I’m pleased that the minister shared my thinking on this and I hope to see this reflected in policies as they are rolled out. The 5G providers as they stand are Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia. The security aspect of the roll-out of 5G is of the utmost importance and needs to be fully considered.
Following on from the Urgent Question this week on rendition, where the Cabinet Secretary pledged to provide further information on a potential judge-led inquiry on rendition, we received a statement from the UK Government that they will not be undertaking such an inquiry.
Earlier this week I stated that the restriction of evidence to the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) – of which I am a member – meant that we had to draw to a close our own investigation on rendition.
I wanted the Minister to state clearly for the record that it is the choice of Committees who they request evidence from and not the government. Sadly, the Minister refused this and reiterated that the Government had the right to restrict access to witnesses.
Last night, I was officially appointed to the Houses of Parliament Intelligence and Security Committee.
The Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament (ISC) was first established by the Intelligence Services Act 1994 to examine the policy, administration and expenditure of the Security Service, Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), and the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). The Justice and Security Act 2013 reformed the ISC: making it a Committee of Parliament; providing greater powers; and increasing its remit (including oversight of operational activity and the wider intelligence and security activities of Government). Other than the three intelligence and security Agencies, the ISC examines the intelligence-related work of the Cabinet Office including: the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC); the Assessments Staff; and the National Security Secretariat. The Committee also provides oversight of Defence Intelligence in the Ministry of Defence and the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism in the Home Office. Read more “Appointment to Intelligence and Security Committee”