April 13, 2021

Germany studies to exclude Huawei from the 5G network

Germany studies to exclude Huawei from the 5G network


BerlinUpdated:

The participation of the Chinese technological giant Huawei in the 5G expansion It has become a political problem in Germany. The council of ministers today holds an extraordinary meeting to discuss among Ministries how to handle the presence of the brand in the new network. Those in charge of developing a strategy are Foreign Minister Helge Braun, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, Economy Minister Peter Altmeier, Infrastructure Minister Andreas Scheuer and Finance Olaf Scholz. But Chancellor Merkel has already advanced the line of deliberations by declaring this week, during her official visit to Japan, that "there is a great debate in Germany over the convenience of using Huawei phones» One of the possibilities posed by the German ministers is the exclusion of Huawei from the network assignment.

German media reports that the government is working on a catalog of security measures, coordinated by the Federal Network Agency and the Federal Office of Information Security (BSI), and surpassing certification standards and non-espionage agreements with countries like China, considered insufficient. The goal is to avoid, if possible, that Huawei pass data to the Chinese state.

Huawei, one of the largest providers of telecommunications equipment in the world, has been under criticism for a long time. The United States and other countries accuse the group of being too close to the Chinese authorities and see Huawei as a threat to their cybersecurity. The company rejects these accusations that its technology could be used for espionage. The Federal Office of Security in German Information Technology recognizes that it does not see concrete evidence of an espionage activity, but the German security authorities are warning against the use of Huawei technology because the new generation mobile network is a critical infrastructure and, therefore, you need special protection.

Chancellor Merkel says it is necessary to hold talks with Beijing to "ensure that the company does not delivers all usage data to the State Chinese, but there are sufficient safeguards ». These safeguards, Merkel said, should serve to make sure that "when you work in Germany, the Chinese state can not access data on all products."

The mobile operator Vodafone has already responded to the situation by announcing that "all Huawei components will be removed" from the most sensitive parts of its network in Germany. "We hope that the change can be completed during the next year," a company spokesperson told the economic daily Handelsblatt. But in the so-called core network, the Huawei components would still be used to a small extent. The decision to use Nokia components has economic reasons.

Japan, Australia, the United States and other western countries already have banned, or value doing so, the use of Huawei products in network infrastructures. If Germany were to prohibit the use of Huawei equipment, other European countries could follow the same path. The Chinese manufacturer is under close scrutiny by European countries. The accusations coming from the United States about espionage and theft of trade secrets, as well as the arrests carried out in Poland have raised the suspicion in the old continent, which faces in 2019 the last phase of the deployment of 5G networks. The arrest of Meng Wanzhou, daughter of the founder and financial director of the group, also aggravates the situation.

Denmark has already made the decision to expel two employees of the Chinese telecommunications giant that it found in an irregular situation, the Copenhagen police announced Monday. A routine control of work and residence permits in Huawei premises led to the conclusion that "in two cases the authorities found that the documents were not in order. Almost at the same time, the Norwegian intelligence services warned against Huawei, whose links with the Beijing regime raise concerns in the field of security. "We must pay attention to Huawei, due to the fact that the distance between this commercial actor and the Chinese regime is short", said the head of internal intelligence (PST), Benedicte Bjørnland, when presenting a risk assessment report for 2019. "An actor like Huawei will be vulnerable to the influences of their country of origin, while China has a law (…) that forces people, entities and private companies to cooperate with China, "he added.

In Norway, the main telecommunications operators Telenor and Telia, already equipped by Huawei for their 4G networks, are preparing the deployment of the 5G and begin to evaluate the level of risk that this collaboration supposes. The cybersecurity authorities are examining the danger and expect to present a report in the coming months.

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