The Foreign Office According to media reports, sees evidence of cooperation between Chinese network supplier Huawei and Chinese security authorities. “At the end of 2019, U.S. intelligence provided us with evidence that Huawei has been shown to work with China’s security agencies,” quotes Handelsblatt from a confidential note from the Federal Foreign Office.
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. One comment was from the Federal government initially not available.
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.
Existential penalties for network security?
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 Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer, who does not share the doubts of the Federal Foreign Office and does not want a reservation of approval for 5G components.
Huawei rejected the report. Huawei has never done anything and will never do anything that threatens the security of its customers’ networks and data, the company said. “The Handelsblatt-Article repeats old and unfounded allegations without providing any concrete evidence. “
In the Huawei debate, the German government is now considering, according to a media report, considering securing the security of 5G networks with the threat of exorbitant punishments for espionage or sabotage. “Extensive (possibly existential) contractual penalties for manufacturers should create the greatest possible deterrent effect in the event of an improper impact on the availability and integrity of the networks,” quoted Business insidera government working paper. The possible penalties are connected with the planned trustworthiness assurance of the manufacturers of core components. This should also ensure that the providers are liable for the “abusive capabilities” of the technology.
Huawei’s participation is also being debated in other EU countries. The US government is strictly against for security reasons such as industrial espionage Huawei, the company is therefore not involved in the 5G network in the United States. The United States is also putting pressure on allied and friendly countries not to let Huawei get hold of 5G.
EU leaves the decision to member states
Because of Huawei, the EU Commission published a set of tools to counter security risks in connection with the introduction of 5G. The member states of the European Union can thus exclude individual cell phone suppliers or restrict their access when setting up their 5G networks. The security of 5G networks is a strategic question for the entire internal market and the technological independence of the EU, the EU Commission said.
Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson only announced on Tuesday that it would involve the Chinese in expanding the British network. However, technology from “risky providers” – Huawei should fall into this category – should only be allowed outside the core network. Whether Johnson will stick to the decision given the sharp criticism from Washington is still open. The main Huawei competitors in 5G technology come from Europe: Ericsson in Sweden and Nokia in Finland.