What does Malcolm Turnbull really know about the Huawei ban? Reports emerged this week that Turnbull might actually know more than he’s letting on.
The Australian revealed this week that despite Turnbull’s bluster that he’d reconsider the ban on Huawei tendering for the work involving National Broadband Network if (read: when) the Coalition took power, the shadow Communications Minister has actually received an ASIO briefing of his own on the matter.
The Australian can reveal that Mr Turnbull was briefed by ASIO in Canberra on May 9 about the security risks posed by having the Chinese company involved in the NBN. Deputy Opposition Leader and foreign affairs spokeswoman Julie Bishop also attended the ASIO briefing.
This means Mr Turnbull made his pledge to review the ban on Huawei knowing this would place the Coalition at odds with the views of Australia’s domestic spy agency.
So not one, but two Coalition front benchers were briefed? My, my.
Turnbull has fired back on his personal blog, though, saying that while he was present at the meeting with Bishop, ASIO didn’t reveal everything they knew:
ASIO did not provide us with the full advice it had given to the Government. This was not surprising. Opposition briefings are very rarely, if ever, as complete as those given to the Government of the day and as a consequence the responsible approach for us to take was simply to state that if we formed a Government we would review the decision in the light of the complete advice and intelligence material that is inevitably only available to the Government of the day.
That must have been one cracking chat about the weather, then.
Meanwhile, Turnbull revealed to the ABC 7:30 program that the Coalition’s broadband network would operate at speeds of between 25Mbps and 85Mbps, depending on how far users were away from their local fibre cabinet node. The shadow minister also launched a survey this week asking users what they want in their broadband.
As far as the fibre network is concerned, this week saw the commencement of NBN Co’s multicasting services. Multicasting via the NBN means that video content is pushed to the NBN’s points of interconnect so that users can get access to content quicker over the fibre network. Lifehacker has the full guide on using multicast content.