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EU Council agrees ‘risk-based’ approach to 5G following bout of US lobbying

EU Council agrees ‘risk-based’ approach to 5G following bout of US lobbying

The US government insists that Beijing could use Huawei’s equipment to spy on the West The European Union Council has warned member states that 5G technology will require special attention to the security aspects associated with individual vendors, and the EU has agreed that its member states should take up a “comprehensive and risk-based” approach to the security

EU Council agrees 'risk-based' approach to 5G following bout of US lobbying

The US government insists that Beijing could use Huawei’s equipment to spy on the West

The European Union Council has warned member states that 5G technology will require special attention to the security aspects associated with individual vendors, and the EU has agreed that its member states should take up a “comprehensive and risk-based” approach to the security of 5G.

This approach would include using only trusted vendors for supplying components critical to national security, and to also consider the laws of vendor’s home country before purchasing products from them.

“While the deployment of 5G networks brings new opportunities, the profound changes that 5G technologies will bring to the networks, devices and applications, and the increased security concerns related to the integrity and availability of 5G networks …. make it necessary for the EU and the Member States to pay particular attention to promoting the cybersecurity of these networks and all services depending on electronic communications,” the Council concluded.

While it refrained from mentioning the name of any particular company, including Huawei, in its report, the Council did make a number of recommendations that clearly point to the Chinese firm.

“We were very pleased to see the conclusions on 5G that the EU council released,” said Rob Strayer, the US State Department’s deputy assistant secretary for cyber security, according to Bloomberg.

For the past year, the USA has been pressing its Western allies to ban China’s Huawei from upcoming 5G infrastructure projects. It alleges that Beijing could use Huawei’s equipment to spy on the West.

Huawei rejects all such allegations, saying its equipment and technology are completely safe to use.

Earlier this year, Abraham Liu, Huawei’s Vice-President for the European Region, said that the company was ready to accept supervision and suggestions of all European governments, customers and partners.

Most European countries are currently in a state of dilemma over whether to allow Huawei to participate in their 5G networks.

Banning Huawei would anger China, a major trading partner, while including the Chinese company would annoy the US, a leading security ally.

US government officials have repeatedly said in the past that the country would stop sharing intelligence information with allies that use Huawei equipment in their mobile networks.

Last week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Donald Trump discussed “the need to exclude untrusted providers” from 5G projects, according to a White House spokesman.

Germany’s largest mobile operator, Deutsche Telekom AG, has announced that it was stopping orders for 5G equipment due to Huawei’s uncertain status.

The German government had earlier said that individual companies should not be banned from participating in 5G projects from the outset.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also indicated last week that the UK may restrict Huawei’s involvement in building 5G infrastructure in the country.

Speaking at the NATO Summit in London, Johnson said that he didn’t want the UK to be “unnecessarily hostile to investment from overseas,” but added that the government “cannot prejudice our vital national security interests.”

Following a meeting between President Trump and Prime Minister Johnson in Downing Street, a White House spokesman said that both leaders discussed how their countries could work together to strengthen the security of their communication networks and to “guard against untrusted providers.”

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Susan E. Lopez
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