EU demands testing of 5G of risks, but no block-wide Huawei ban

STRASBOURG (Reuters) – the EU countries will be obliged to share information on 5G cybersecurity risks and the production of measures to address these by the end of the year, the European Commission said on Tuesday, shunning US calls for a ban China’s Huawei Technologies about the block.

FILE PHOTO: A surveillance camera is seen in the front of the Huawei logo outside the factory campus in Dongguan, Guangdong province, China, on March 25, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu/File Photo

The goal is to use tools that are available on the basis of the existing rules plus the cross-border cooperation, the bloc’s executive body said, as it addressed issues around the expansion of the next-generation networks that are the key to the online connection between everything from vehicles to household appliances.

The European Union’s move came despite U.S. pressure for a boycott of Huawei, the mention of the fears of China using the company’s equipment for espionage. Huawei has strongly rejected the allegations and launched a lawsuit against the U.S. government.

The EU gives more detail about the plans first reported by Reuters on 22 March, with the European digital chief Andrus Ansip say that the measures announced on Tuesday focused on concerns about the foreign governments with companies for espionage.

Last week the French President, Emmanuel Macron said that Europe is waking up to the potential Chinese dominance in the region.

Ansip said that 5G technology would be a transformation of the economy and the society, but that this cannot happen without a full security built in.

“It is therefore essential that 5G infrastructure in the EU are resilient and completely secure for technical or legal back doors,” Ansip said in a statement.

EU countries have until the end of June to assess cybersecurity risks in related to 5G, which leads to a bloc-wide assessment by Jan. 1. With the help of these EU countries would have to agree measures to reduce risk, by the end of the year.

These measures may include the certification requirements and testing of products or suppliers are considered to be potential security risks. The block will decide Oct. 1, 2020, or to take any further action.

The EU has already passed a new law, the permanent status of the EU’s Cybersecurity Agency, and to assist in the area of cyber security certification.

The Commission said that it will be up to individual EU countries to decide whether they want to exclude companies from their markets for the national security garden.

Related Coverage

  • Huawei welcomed the EU executive’s ‘objective’ approach to 5G

Large telecom operators, which views 5G as the next big moneyspinner, against a Huawei ban, saying that such a step would be able to back 5G deployment per year.

Huawei, the world’s largest producer of telecommunications equipment, ahead of the likes of the Swedish Ericsson and Finnish company Nokia, faces intense scrutiny in the West about the relationship with the Chinese government and the US-led allegations that the equipment can be used for espionage.

Australia and New Zealand have stopped operators using Huawei equipment in their 5G networks.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Philip Blenkinsop and David Goodman

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