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UK national security adviser to propose tighter rules after Huawei concerns: FT

A cleaner wipes the glass door of a Huawei office in Wuhan, Hubei province in this October 9, 2012 file photograph. REUTERS/Stringer/Files
A cleaner wipes the glass door of a Huawei office in Wuhan, Hubei province in this October 9, 2012 file photograph. REUTERS/Stringer/Files

(Reuters) - The British Prime Minister's national security adviser, Kim Darroch, is expected to propose that ministers have the final decision on deals that affect critical national infrastructure, the Financial Times said, citing sources.

The move comes after the parliament's security committee raised concerns about a tie-up between BT Group and Huawei Technologies allowing the Chinese company to become embedded in Britain's telecommunications network infrastructure without the knowledge and scrutiny of ministers.

In a report, Darroch is expected to recommend tightening the protocols around sensitive infrastructure deals, the paper said, citing two people familiar with the matter. (http://link.reuters.com/cub55v)

The FT said the report would also call for improved governance at Huawei's Banbury, England-based cyber security evaluation centre, known as "the cell."

Huawei, the world's No. 2 telecoms equipment maker, launched the security centre in 2010 to test its new hardware and software for security risks before being linked to Britain's critical infrastructure.

However, the FT added that the report avoids direct criticism of Huawei, given that the British government is trying to build on its commercial ties with Beijing. Prime Minister David Cameron recently returned from a trade promotion trip to the world's second-largest economy.

"The tone is much more general around critical national infrastructure and broader oversight," a person familiar with the report told the paper.

A person familiar with the matter told Reuters earlier this month that Britain was planning to clear Huawei to run the security centre if it agreed to tighter rules to allay spying and hacking fears.

Huawei and the Cabinet Office could not be reached for comment outside regular business hours.

(Reporting by Richa Naidu in Bangalore; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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