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Donald Trump's cabinet secretary advising Australia on cyber security

"Bella Coombs" (2020-06-25)


One of Donald Trump's former cabinet secretaries who led the fight against tech giant Huawei is advising Australia on how to combat Chinese espionage. 

Kirstjen Nielsen, the former US secretary of homeland security, news has joined the federal government's industry advisory panel on cyber security. 

As one of President Trump's key advisers, Ms Nielsen was instrumental in driving the American ban on Huawei installing 5G mobile technology.

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Kirstjen Nielsen - one of Donald Trump's former cabinet secretaries who led the fight against tech giant Huawei - will soon be advising Australia on how to combat Chinese espionage

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In early 2018, she lobbied former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull to ban Huawei from being connected to this critical piece of infrastructure.

In August of that year Mr Turnbull, in one of his last acts as PM, barred Huawei from being allowed to set up any part of Australia's 5G network, adding to a 2012 ban on the company installing the National Broadband Network.

Ms Nielsen quit as President Trump's homeland security secretary in April 2019 and in November of last year joined the Australian government's industry advisory panel on cyber security, although it wasn't announced at the time.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton's office on Wednesday confirmed she had joined this panel, chaired by Telstra chief executive Andy Penn. 

His spokeswoman issued a statement to Daily Mail Australia: 

Kirstjen Nielsen, the former US Secretary of Homeland Security, has joined the federal government's industry advisory panel on cyber security

'Ms Nielsen brings a wealth of cyber security knowledge to the Panel from her experience in defending U.S.

Government and critical infrastructure networks from cyber security attacks,' it said.