No Europe-Wide Huawei Ban Announced By EU Though Concerned By 5G Risks

The European Commission has directed all of the members states of the European Union that each of the countries would be required to exchange data on the perceived risks related ot 5G cybersecurity and detail out measure to tackle such risks by the end of the current year. The Commission however chose to disregard calls by the United States to ban Huawei Technologies across the EU and did not give any call or name the Chinese tech giant in relation to any 5G related risks.

EU’s executive body said that the aim of undertaking such measures is to ensure that the members states are able to make use of the existing tools under the current security rules in addition to support from cross-border cooperation. The commission was discussing issues related to the expansion of the next-generation 5G mobile networks that are being considered to be crucial for online connectivity of everything – from vehicles to household devices.

The European Union decided not to name Huawei in the announcement despite consistent pressure from the United States to ban the Chinese company citing fears that the 5G technology of the company and its related equipment could be used by Chinese agencies to spy on western countries. All such allegations have been repeatedly refuted by Huawei. Earlier this month, the Chinese firm even filed a law suit in the US against the US government over its banning.

The concerns related to fears of foreign governments using companies for espionage were aimed to be addressed by the measures announced on Tuesday, said European digital chief Andrus Ansip, as the EU attempted to offer provided additional detail on the plans.

Europe was wakening up to potential Chinese dominance in the region, French President Emmanuel Macron had said last week.

While claiming that economy and society would be transformed by the 5G technology, Ansip said that this needs building up of complete security around it.

“It is therefore essential that 5G infrastructures in the EU are resilient and fully secure from technical or legal backdoors,” Ansip said in a statement.

There would be an bloc-wide assessment of by October 1 after the EU member countries conduct their own assessment of such risks by the end of June. Based on this assessment, a slew of measures to mitigate risks have to be agreed upon by the EU member countries by the end of the current year.

Testing of products or suppliers believed to be potential security risks and certification requirement would be part of the measures that would be proposed by the EU. The decision on whether to take further action would be taken by the EU by October 1, 2020.

A permanent status to the EU Cybersecurity Agency has already been given through a new law in addition to laws that would [provide guidance on cybersecurity certification by the EU.

(Adapted from LiveMint.com)

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