Germany Says it Won’t Ban Huawei from Supplying 5G Hardware Despite US Pleas
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The United States blacklisted Huawei in May for its alleged links with the Chinese government and imposed export sanctions on the company’s products. The United States then pressured Germany to do the same by excluding Huawei from auctioning the country’s equipment for its 5G infrastructure, but the new security regulation shows that Germany has no intention of collapsing.
Germany resists pressure from the United States to exclude Chinese giant Huawei technology from its 5G networks, saying it will not ban any next-generation mobile network provider, according to Reuters.
Germany won’t ban Huawei from supplying 5G hardware
“Basically, our approach is as follows: we do not take a precautionary decision to ban any actor or company,” said government spokesman Steffen Seibert at a press conference in Berlin.
The federal network agency of the country is expected to publish detailed safety guidelines in the coming days on the technical and governance criteria for 5G networks.
Next-generation mobile technology offers faster speeds and lower latency than current cellular technologies, while supporting a much greater number of connections to cellular sites. Therefore, it is considered the basis of a multitude of futuristic technologies: connected and autonomous vehicles for real-time telesurgery.
Germany says it won’t ban Huawei or any 5G supplier up front
However, the increase in network capabilities that support many more critical functions implies an increased security risk. The complexity of 5G networks, marketed by operators as “smart connectivity”, also increases the attack surface. Therefore, future network security has become an important geopolitical concern.
German commercial newspaper Handelsblatt, which examined a draft of the new 5G security requirements, said Chancellor Angela Merkel intervened to rule out a clause that would have blocked access to the Huawei market, fearing a break with China if the giant Technological were to exclude.
Earlier this year, the federal government pledged to apply the highest security standards for the regulation of next-generation mobile networks, saying that the systems should only come from “reliable providers.” But these commitments have now been diluted by economic considerations at the top of the German government.
The decision not to block Huawei access has caused criticism in Germany and contradicts the pressure of the United States on its allies to ban the Chinese tech giant for security and espionage reasons.
The United States imposed its own export controls on Huawei in May.
One of Huawei’s main concerns is that in 2017, the Chinese Communist Party adopted a law on intelligence services that gives the state power over the power to force companies and individuals to collect information. foreign and national intelligence.
New German security rulebook won’t exclude Huawei from 5G
For network operators outside of China, the problem is that Huawei leads as a global 5G provider, which means that its ban as a provider would cause delays in network implementation. Years of delay and billions of dollars in costs for 5G launches, according to warnings from German operators.
Another problem is that Huawei’s 5G technology has also been criticized for security reasons.
A report published this spring by a UK oversight body that assesses the company’s approach to security was condemning, pointing out “serious and systematic failures” in its software engineering and cybersecurity skills.
Although shortly after a leak from the British government, it was suggested that this would allow Huawei to have partial access, to feed non-essential elements of the networks.
An official decision of the United Kingdom government on Huawei has been delayed, creating permanent uncertainty for local operators. Meanwhile, a government review of the telecommunications supply chain this summer has demanded more stringent security standards and updated regulations, with heavy fines if they fail. Therefore, strict UK regulations may result in a de facto ban if Huawei’s security approach is not considered a big step forward in the near future.
Future of 5G: US allies defy Washington’s please to ban Huawei
According to the Handelsblatt report, Germany’s new 5G network operator guidelines will require operators to identify critical areas of the network architecture and apply a higher level of security. (Although it is worth noting that there is an ongoing debate on how to define critical / core network areas in 5G networks).
The Federal Office of Information Security (BSI) will be responsible for network security inspections.
Last week, a pan-European assessment of the security threats of 5G technology highlighted the risks of “non-European or state-backed actors” in a document coded for Huawei.
The report also highlighted the increase in security issues related to 5G in today’s networks, due to the greater role of software in networks and applications running in 5G. And he warned against too much dependence on individual 5G suppliers, and against operators who trusted a supplier too much.
Shortly thereafter, the WSJ obtained a private risk assessment from EU governments, which seems to address regional concerns about Huawei, focusing on threats from 5G providers in countries “without democratic and legal restrictions.”
Among the risks discussed in this non-public report is the insertion of hardware, software or hidden defects in 5G networks; and the risk of uncontrolled software updates, backdoors or undocumented test functions in the production version of network products.
“These vulnerabilities are not those that can be addressed through small technical changes, but are of a strategic and sustainable nature,” said a source familiar with the WSJ discussions, implying that short-term economic considerations can lead to significant vulnerabilities. Strategic in the region. the line.
Alternatives to 5G are rare.
US Senator Mark Warner recently launched the idea of creating a consortium of “Five Eyes” allies, such as the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, to finance and create “An equivalent of the type of Western open democracy” in Huawei
But this approach would obviously take time, although Huawei continues to sell services worldwide and integrate its 5G kit into next-generation networks.