Former UK government chief information officer John Suffolk has joined Chinese telecoms equipment company Huawei as its global cyber security officer.
Suffolk, who was UK government chief information security officer until earlier this year, as well as CIO, will have government conditions imposed on his appointment. A Cabinet Office spokesman described the conditions as "unprecedented".
Suffolk's conditions, according to the Cabinet Office, are:
— No advice or dealings with any work relating to the UK Gov for two years — and no lobbying
— He cannot imply UK government endorsement of any of Huawei's products or services in any dealings he has with other companies or organisations
— He would not draw on any privileged information that was available to him as a civil servant
— he would seek advice from security authorities about any risks to the confidentiality of communications which might be of concern to those authorities.
Huawei has taken great pains as a Chinese company to try to reassure the UK government that communications flowing through its equipment will not be intercepted or tampered with by the Chinese government. Huawei set up a test facility in November 2010 to allow CESG to test its equipment up to UK government standards.
Huawei has lost US government contracts in the past over concerns about cyber-security. The US administration was opposed to Huawei's $2m (£1.2m) takeover of US server company 3Leaf, leading to Huawei dropping the planned acquisition in February this year.