BT, NCSC, Huawei take lead roles at ETSI's AI security specs group

'Extremely important' security specifications group gets some top-notch leaders, says analyst.

January 28, 2020

2 Min Read
BT, NCSC, Huawei take lead roles at ETSI's AI security specs group

ETSI's Industry Specification Group on Securing Artificial Intelligence (ISG SAI), described by leading industry analyst Patrick Donegan as "exceptionally important," has appointed Alex Leadbeater, BT Group's head of global obligations, futures and standards as its chair, while Dr Kate Reed from the UK's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is first vice chair and Huawei's Tieyan Li is second vice chair.

Donegan, founder and principal analyst at HardenStance, who has long been focused on network security developments, applauded the move:

The group, formed last October, has set itself a mammoth task, namely to "develop technical specifications to mitigate threats arising from the deployment of AI throughout multiple ICT-related industries." As ever with an ETSI group, the team will start by clarifying exactly what the challenge is and how to communicate it, an important first step, particularly given that the terms AI and security are used in so many different ways. For more details on exactly what those first steps entail, see this press release.

The elephant in the room here, of course, is the appointment of a Huawei employee to a senior role in this group, a move that will no doubt light the touchpaper of the vocal minority that believe the words Huawei and security should not be in the same sentence unless accompanied by "threat."

We can expect to hear those three words conjoined in plenty of public discourse during the next couple of days as the UK government unveils its decision on what kind of role, if any, the Chinese vendor can play in the UK's 5G networks.

— Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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