The Federal Foreign Office sees evidence of a cooperation between the Chinese network supplier Huawei and Chinese security authorities. “At the end of 2019, we received US intelligence information that Huawei has been shown to work with China’s security agencies,” quotes the “Handelsblatt” from a confidential note from the Federal Foreign Office that the newspaper claims to be available.
Huawei speaks of “old unfounded accusations”
In the paper, the information from the Americans would be called a “smoking gun”, that is, as clear evidence. “The trustworthiness of Chinese companies is not given in connection with the security requirements when building 5G networks,” the newspaper quoted from the note. The Federal Government was initially unable to comment on this.
The Chinese company reacted promptly: “Huawei Technologies has never and will never do anything that compromises or compromises the security of its customers’ networks and data. If the reports in the” Handelsblatt “suggest this,” we strongly reject this “.
The report claimed, according to Huawei, that evidence from the US government was presented in late December. “According to recent statements by high-ranking government officials, their attitude towards Huawei has not changed since then.” The article repeats “old unfounded allegations without providing any concrete evidence.”
Within the Federal Government, the Federal Foreign Office is one of the critics of Huawei’s participation in the 5G network. The Chancellery, the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Economics, on the other hand, reject the explicit exclusion of individual companies and want strict security requirements for all network equipment suppliers. The British government decided to partially exclude Huawei on Tuesday.
Federal government plans high fines for espionage at 5G
The note also accused the Chancellery of delaying a departmental vote on the IT security law and the telecommunications law. There is also criticism of the Federal Minister of the Interior, Horst Seehofer, who does not share the concerns of the Federal Foreign Office and does not want a reservation of approval for 5G components.
The federal government also wants to ensure the security of 5G networks by threatening high penalties for espionage or sabotage. “The fines should be based on the economic strength of the company and should in future be able to account for up to four percent of the company’s worldwide sales,” said Deputy Union Group leader Thorsten Frei (CDU) on Wednesday of the German Press Agency in Berlin.
“Sanctions that also hurt a global company very painfully”
The draft IT security law 2.0 provides for such new sanctions. If Germany’s critical infrastructure is compromised, “we want to be able to impose sanctions that also hurt a global corporation very painfully,” said Frei. Lower penalties “would otherwise be paid by such corporations, even if they are in the high millions, out of the postage account”.
Government spokesman Steffen Seibert emphasized the government’s attitude towards dealing with Huawei. You want to make increased security requirements, but not exclude any applicants from the outset. The security standards are exchanged with the European partners and especially with France. The federal government had always emphasized: “When operating and expanding this network, security – like in the entire digital area – is a very high value. “Additional security requirements would also be laid down by law in the Telecommunications Act, said Seibert. There were also changes in the law on the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI.) ), in which regulations for critical infrastructures and the trustworthiness of components were included Graduation. (Reuters, dpa)