US Tells Germany To Drop Huawei, Or Else

US sent a warning to Germany to cut off future plans with Huawei 5G tech or lose U.S. intelligence access

U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard A. Grennel sent a letter to Germany demanding them to block Huawei's entry. Image from BMVI Flickr

We are not sure if the German communications regulator Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA) will yield to Washington's warning as the country's federal cybersecurity agency has already rolled out the country's 5G security requirements, the requirements are quite strict, but not a complete and specific restrict on Huawei.

This letter marks the first official warning from the USA that refusing to ban Huawei could result in a lack of security co-operation with Washington - including on matters relating to terrorism.

Huawei has repeatedly denied that it would do anything of the sort and has pointed out that the U.S. government has not produced any evidence to suggest otherwise.

The letter, which was dated Friday and reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, marks the first known time the USA has explicitly warned an ally that refusing to ostracise Huawei could lessen security cooperation with Washington.

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The United States has told Germany that it will share less intelligence with its security agencies if the country's wireless network uses China's Huawei Technologies to upgrade to 5G, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday in the first explicit USA warning to Germany of consequences for declining to shun Huawei. Hence, the Chinese tech company is credible to bid for the country's 5G project. Further, the USA likely needs its allies to support the pushback against Huawei in order for the isolation tactic to have any meaningful effect. However, they stressed that the USA would no longer trust Germany's lines because 'the Americans will assume that all information given to Germany will end up in China'.

The guidelines also stipulate that networks should use components from several manufacturers; the agency said that these rules would apply to all vendors equally, not singling out Huawei Technologies. And other countries have issued security warnings about Huawei and China, including the Czech Republic and Lithuania.

The move of USA to restrict Germany's access to its intelligence is a massive blow in Germany's security community, as it's a primal consumer of United States intelligence from the National Security Agency and other U.S. intelligence reporters in curbing terrorism.

Peter Beyer, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives, underscored the importance of setting the highest security standards for the new 5G infrastructure which is essential for new technology developments such as self-driving cars. The official also revealed that whoever gets the bid to provide the technology for Germany's 5G infrastructure will be required to sign a no-spy agreement, submit source code for inspection, and allow for oversight of the personnel handling the 5G support.

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