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5G mobile and wireless communications : trust in Huawei is risky

The new Zealanders do not want more Huawei, The Chinese network equipment supplier is excluded from the structure of the fast 5G mobile communications. There were "significant risks to national security," it said last week officially. The new Zealanders are following the Australians and the US government. In the United States, the judiciary also identified due to a violation of the Iran embargo, against the company, which is why now in Canada, the Huawei chief financial officer and daughter of company founder, was arrested. Quite different in Germany: safety has played in the debate around 5G so far, no role, instead, is a passion discussed the network coverage.

It's about the integrity of data

In October, the Federal government notified that there is no legal basis, the provider from the 5G-structure in Germany. And in the last week invitation to tender published by the Federal network Agency for the sale by auction of the 5G frequencies cited security as a fundamental requirement for the award of the contract. However, this is fatal, because the fast mobile network, not only the telecommunications, but our future industry and mobility. Therefore, it is not alone the much-discussed privacy, but also to the integrity of the data and systems that form the backbone of our economy and society. Critical critical infrastructure.

Alternatives: Nokia and Ericsson

contrary to what Huawei claims it's not about the USA, Australia and new Zealand to the exclusion of Chinese suppliers to crude protectionism, because in none of the three countries, local suppliers are the main beneficiaries. The peculiarity of the market for 5G is that there is no US provider, covering the full technological spectrum. The Alternatives to Huawei and ZTE, the second-large supplier of network technology from China, are two European companies: Nokia and Ericsson.

Huawei has in Germany, also thanks to the professional lobbyists, strong supporters. It sells as a private company, a cooperative established and in no way under the control of the Chinese party-state. Network operators such as Telekom are among the satisfied customers Huawei, which already provides significant parts of the existing German 3G and 4G infrastructure. Telekom warns that they could afford in view of the timely expansion of demand difficult, "powerful suppliers" such as Huawei, to exclude.

The Telekom carries no risk of liability for safety hazards

From the point of view of Telekom and other network operators, the situation is clear: Huawei is offering the modern products at low prices and is very cooperative. The Telekom is from its own perspective is rational, moreover, they bear no risk of liability for safety risks associated with Huawei technology. That the price advantage of Huawei is based on unfair conditions in the Chinese home market, do not need scissors, Telekom and other Huawei customers. In China, by far the largest market in the world, are well reserved 75 percent of the mobile market for local technology providers. This competitive advantage can't-obtain a Chinese suppliers on price.

"The most reviewed company in the world"?

among the defenders of Huawei, the head of the Federal office for information security (BSI) is calculated. Arne Schönbohm believes in a "preventive approach" of risk management, the authority to check whether the network supplier to meet the requirements of the IT security. This will allow the BSI, the "required trust statements are technically walls". Schönbohm seems to be Huawei's self-description, "to believe is the most reviewed company in the world".

The Chinese offer to have their equipment in test centres test, the last of which was opened in Bonn. This laboratory allows for a "broader and deeper technical exchange between Huawei and the BSI" was Schönbohm thrilled. Huawei chief Kevin Hu agreed in beautiful words: "Huawei and BSI share the same Vision: to make the completely networked world of the future as safe as possible."

Yet this enthusiasm is misdirected. The Bonner center follows the British model, where there is already since 2010, the Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre (HCSEC), which is controlled among others by the British secret service GCHQ. But just this year, the British report gave only "limited assurance" to ensure that Huawei products pose no risks to national security. The British government warned the network operators, certain vendors (i.e. Huawei) could be excluded from the operation. The final British decision is still pending, but the conclusion should be clear.

German intelligence agent Huawei does not see critical-to-wait

but If the the German BSI is technically far superior British GCHQ Huawei like some no safety certification, you need also on the results of the Bonn test centre. In addition, at the end not at all possible back doors in the Hardware the main risk, but the weekly Updates to the 5G Software, which are due to the complex network requirements. Not a test center would be able to control weekly software updates in advance. The security risk would be, so to speak, at the front door. A good reason for German intelligence officers to see, other than the BSI, Huawei critical.

share the assessment of Australian colleagues. In a speech at the end of October the head of the secret service argued that the decision was made, uncertainties, could, by "high risk providers", such as Huawei, nowhere in the 5G network. The Australian press reported recently that Chinese espionage units would have operated in a case, Huawei employees in order to receive access codes for a foreign network.

Huawei may be forced to spy

evidence presented, the reports do not, but such a procedure would be covered by the Chinese secret service, law from the year 2017. This stipulates that "organizations and citizens to support the national intelligence work and with the services to cooperate and this, keep it a secret". This, in turn, corresponds to the logic of the Communist party (CP) controlled by the state: companies can nominally be private, what you but not in front of the right of the KP protects the cells in companies such as Huawei. The party state may force Huawei to participate in espionage operations, as well as Sabotage of European networks.

in view of this, the trust statements are for the use of Chinese technology in critical infrastructure, such as BSI chief Schönbohm in view, irresponsible. Germany should ban high-risk providers from China by the German 5G market. The legal basis for this should follow the logic of the 2017 amendments to the foreign trade law, according to which investment is prohibited, endangering the public order and security in concrete terms. This is also the case of 5G.

Can you trust the USA?

This will increase the cost for network operators such as Telekom in the short term, and could lead to delays in the network expansion. However, these costs are with a view to the protection of national security is acceptable. The faster the decision to exclude Huawei and other dubious providers is made, the sooner can set the network operator to the new reality. A quick decision would have for the Rest of Europe. Especially the German industry, closely connected to the countries currently in Germany according to the Motto: If Germany doesn't care, with a view to 5G to the security of its industry – why should we do it? These countries would follow suit in a German ban on Chinese vendors is likely.

At the end, but it could push ahead anyway, the US government of Germany, Huawei decision. European 5G-vendors such as Nokia and Ericsson rely on the supply chains still on Chinese components. The Trump-government urges, however, now not only 5G, but generally speaking, in the case of high-tech products on an economic decoupling between the West and China. Global supply chains with Chinese participation in the markets of trust "(trusted markets) to soft" within the West. But then the question for the Europeans: you Can trust the technologically in many areas, weak continent of the Hegemons USA?

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experts Express concern Huawei to Duisburg digitize

Annika Schulz

The author is Director of the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi), an independent think tank in Berlin, and a columnist on the daily mirror Causa.

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