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PHL can’t block Huawei without scientific evidence — DICT official

Despite cybersecurity issues hounding Huawei, the Philippines will have to secure concrete evidence of possible threats before blocking the Chinese information and communications technology giant in the country.

"So our stand in the Philippines, we cannot block something that has no scientific evidence or engineering or IT process evidence... we cannot block Huawei from any network in the Philippines," Department of Information and Communications Technology Assistant Secretary for Cybersecurity Allan Cabanlong said in an interview Wednesday.

This came amid issues that Huawei devices are being used for exfiltration of data and espionage in the US.

The US also moved to persuade allies such as Germany, UK, and Canada to block Huawei in their network.

The DICT official, however, said that the Philippines cannot do the same without evidence.

"Right now, there is no scientific evidence on Huawei conducting espionage in the Philippines," Cabanlong said.

He also urged other countries accusing Huawei of exfiltration and espionage to share with the Philippines their evidence.

"There's no cause for alarm for Huawei as of now but we are conducting continuous due diligence. Detection is very important, if other countries see there is a threat they should have provided us with concrete evidence," he said.

Cabanlong said scientific evidence may include algorithm or source code that would prove that Huawei's equipment is exfiltrating information.

The countries telco giants Globe and PLDT-Smart are utilizing Huawei's equipment and infrastructure for its wireless network.

"For the private sector, it's their decision whether to block or not but for the government," Cabanlong said. — RSJ, GMA News

Tags: dict, huawei