Thursday, 14 November, 2019

US Threatens Germany With Halt to Intel Sharing Over Huawei Tech Use

Angela Merkel. Pic Christliches Medienmagazin Germany drops probe into NSA's Merkel phone-hacking READ MORE
Patty Aguilar | 12 March, 2019, 15:24

The Wall Street Journal noted Grenell's letter is the first time the USA government has expressly threatened repercussions for American allies that purchase Huawei equipment.

The Trump administration warned the German government that the US may not share intelligence with Germany if the country continues using Chinese telecommunication giant Huawei to build up its fifth generation cellular networks, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday. The matter stems from concerns in the USA that Huawei could be used by the Chinese government for espionage purposes, though the mobile company has repeatedly denied the claims.

Richard Grenell, the US Ambassador in Berlin, has written to Germany's economic minister saying that it should not trust Huawei's assertions that it does not hand over information on foreign powers to Beijing.

But he said the use of untrusted vendors in allies' networks could raise questions about the integrity and confidentiality of sensitive communications within a country, and between that country and its allies.

Germany's Ministry of Economics confirmed it had received a letter from the USA and that it would soon respond.

However, Germany's Federal Network Agency published tougher security guidelines for telecom providers, which require suppliers of 5G networks to be "trustworthy".

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German government officials meanwhile, argue that they have seen little evidence suggesting Huawei would use its equipment to spy on its users.

The Chinese telecoms behemoth has strenuously denied the espionage allegations.

Last week, it filed a lawsuit against the USA government over a ban that restricts federal agencies from using its products, arguing it is "unconstitutional".

Berlin said that the United States failed to provide any evidence that Chinese products would pose a security threat, adding it was willing to use them as long as they comply with Germany's recently reviewed cybersecurity standards.

The US believes that allowing the Chinese company Huawei to construct and maintain 5G networks will give the Chinese government a backdoor into communications surveillance. Meanwhile, Huawei has insisted that Wanzhou has done nothing illegal.

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