US to Stop Sharing Intelligence with Spain if Open its 5G Networks to Huawei

“We cannot put our important information at risk of being accessed by the Chinese Communist Party,” says US political cybersecurity officer Robert L. Strayer, who believes those providers should be completely excluded from the networks.

The US warns Spain about opening its 5G networks to Chinese manufacturers such as Huawei and ZTE, as the sharing of security and intelligence data would be jeopardized, as indicated by Robert L. Strayer, US Deputy Secretary of State and responsible of cyber and international communications and information policy. This warning from the US Embassy in Madrid, comes a day after it was learned that the Donald Trump Administration contemplates measures in response to the approval by the Government of Pedro Sanchez of a project of law for the imposition of the so-called Google fee.

Strayer, who last week participated in the international security conference held in Munich and has spoken in the same direction in Lisbon earlier this week, is immersed in a tour with public authorities and European private companies for the Old Continent mark distances with 5G technology from China. There is no announcement of reprisals, but there is a clear criterion for Europe to be aware: the US wants Huawei “totally excluded” from the networks. Chinese technology is based among Spanish operators, although Orange has not introduced it to the core of its 5G deployment and both Telefonica and Vodafone have put in place plans to reduce the relevance in their networks of that Chinese company, initiatives that have been started in recent months.

“We cannot put our important information at risk of being accessed by the Chinina” Strayer said.

“It should not be the telecommunications operators that make these important national security decisions, they should be the governments,” Strayer has launched to Moncloa, despite the fact that the US telecommunications operators would have “voluntarily decided not to use Huawei or ZTE.”

Strayer admits that “information sharing” is put at risk with countries that have components of companies such as Huawei or ZTE in their telecommunications networks. Troop mobilization, control of potential terrorists, sharing information on international criminals … That is the strategic relationship that the United States is putting on the table.

The US representative has repeatedly argued during this talk that the Swedish brand Ericsson, the Finnish Nokia and the South Korean Samsung are at least as advanced in 5G as Huawei – “the only original sources to ensure [that are ahead] come from China”-. Therefore, it invites the European authorities to opt for these alternatives to China. “In the US we use three suppliers to deploy 5G to dozens of North American cities,” recalled the Trump administration representative: “We are eager to work with European companies.” Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state, made precisely a plea in Munich to forge a Western alliance against China.

 

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"We cannot put our important information at risk of being accessed by the Chinese Communist Party," says US political cybersecurity officer Robert L. Strayer, who believes those providers should be completely excluded from the networks.

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