WASHINGTON/LONDON (Reuters) – The United States will push its allies at a meeting in Prague next month to establish shared security and policy measures that will make it more difficult for China’s Huawei to dominate 5G telecommunications networks, according to people familiar with the matter and documents seen by Reuters.
FILE PHOTO: Small toy figures are seen in front of a displayed Huawei and 5G network logo in this illustration picture, March 30, 2019. REUTERS/dado Ruvic/Image/File Photo
The event and the broader AMERICAN campaign to limit the role of the Chinese telecom companies in the development of 5G networks comes as Western governments are struggling with the national security, the consequences of the move of 5G, which promises to be at least 100 times faster than current 4G networks.
The problem is of crucial importance because of the 5G’s leading role in the internet-connected products, ranging from self-driving cars and smart cities to augmented reality and artificial intelligence. As the underlying technology for 5G connectivity is vulnerable, then it can allow hackers to exploit these products to spy or interfere.
The United States has been meeting with allies in recent months to warn them Washington believes Huawei equipment can be used by the Chinese state to spy on you. Huawei Technologies Co Ltd to the allegations, repeatedly denied.
Officials from more than 30 countries will meet May 2-3 to vote on the safety, the principles for the next generation of telecommunications networks, said Robert Kahofer, chef de cabinet at Czech cybersecurity agency NUKIB.
A U.S. official familiar with the plan, said the Prague meeting marks a strategic shift in the way the AMERICAN government is planning to request allies to attack Huawei and other 5G suppliers in the future, which Washington believes pose a risk to national security. The official described the work as “softer.”
A Huawei spokesman not immediately respond to a request for comment. The AMERICAN proposals for the Prague meeting to urge governments and operators to take into account the legal environment in a seller country, how much is the support of a company receives, the transparency of the structure and reliability of the equipment. It also calls on partners to give priority to safety and work together on research into the cyber-attack focused on 5G architecture.
The documents do not mention Huawei, the world’s largest telecom-equipment maker, by the name, but the officials of the V. S. said that she hoped that would be the “intellectual framework” that is needed for other countries to effectively bar Chinese suppliers. In August, the US President, Donald Trump signed a bill be ruled out that the US government itself with the help of Huawei and ZTE Corp. equipment.
“The goal is to agree on a set of shared principles that ensure the safety of the next generation telecommunications networks,” said one of the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.
The Prague conference is organized by the Czech ministry of foreign affairs with the support of NUKIB, said Kahofer. The ministry of foreign affairs did not respond to requests for comment.
Delegations from all of the European Union of 28 member states, the European Commission, NATO, and around eight other countries, including the United States and Australia are expected, Kahofer said.
China and Russia are not invited, he added, but stressed that the event was not “an anti-Huawei-or anti-China conference.” Europe has emerged as an important battleground for the future of 5G, with the United States to push allies and partners to the bar with the Chinese suppliers, but the European governments are wary of the commercial and economic consequences of angry Beijing.
Internet service providers have also warned that the banning of Huawei would have to do with huge costs and a delay in the roll out of 5G per year. A Senior US cybersecurity official said last week Washington wanted the European authorities to establish risk-based security frameworks”, citing the recent moves in Germany to implement stricter safety standards for all 5G suppliers, and that by doing so, effectively rule out the use of Huawei and ZTE.
“The United States welcomes the involvement of partners and allies, to discuss how we can work together to ensure that our 5G networks are reliable and secure,” said White House spokesman of the National security council, Garrett Marquis. Officials in great Britain, that in the last month exposed new security flaws in Huawei equipment, but says there is no evidence of Chinese state interference, have also spoken of “the increase of the security in the board of directors” for 5G. The European Commission said in March that the EU countries would be obliged to share information on 5G cybersecurity risks and the production of measures to address these by the end of the year.
Reporting by Christopher Bing in WASHINGTON and Jack Stubbs in LONDON