NATO says it is “committed to ensuring the security of our communications, including 5G”, as US President continues to warn about Huawei risk
NATO has pledged to deliver secure communications and has singled out 5G technologies as a focus in the years ahead.
The 5G commitment was among a number of issues covered in the London declaration of NATO, but the issue of securing communications remains a thorny issue among member states.
This is because US President Donald Trump insisted on Wednesday that Huawei, remains a security risk, and said that Italy has decided not to use equipment from the Chinese networking giant.
President Trump made the remarks during a meeting of heads of NATO countries in Watford, UK, on Wednesday.
“I do think it’s a security risk, it’s a security danger,” Trump was quoted by Reuters as saying. “And I spoke to Italy and they look like they are not going to go forward with that.”
“I spoke to other countries, they are not going to go forward,” said Trump. “Everybody I’ve spoken to is not going to go forward,” Trump said.
That last statement is somewhat surprising. Germany’s 5G rules for example do not bar Huawei from supplying equipment.
That said, the UK’s National Security Council (NSC) had in April agreed to allow Huawei limited access to help build parts of the 5G network such as antennas and other “non-core” infrastructure.
But it should be noted that three of the UK’s largest wireless providers (EE, Vodafone, and Three) are all using Huawei to build their 5G networks.
The only exception to this is O2, which has instead opted to use 5G equipment from Ericsson and Nokia.
So any decision to ban completely the Chinese firm will require the equipment to be retroactively removed from the 5G networks built so far by Vodafone, EE, and Three.
Meanwhile NATO has issued a declaration, part of which calls for secure communications in the years ahead.
“To stay secure, we must look to the future together,” said the alliance. “NATO and Allies, within their respective authority, are committed to ensuring the security of our communications, including 5G, recognising the need to rely on secure and resilient systems.”
“We have declared space an operational domain for NATO, recognising its importance in keeping us safe and tackling security challenges, while upholding international law,” it said. “We are increasing our tools to respond to cyber attacks, and strengthening our ability to prepare for, deter, and defend against hybrid tactics that seek to undermine our security and societies.
It then went to acknowledge the threat posed by China.
“We recognise that China’s growing influence and international policies present both opportunities and challenges that we need to address together as an Alliance,” it said.
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