EU parliament expresses ‘deep concern’ about China and use of Huawei equipment | Science & Tech News
MEPs have passed a resolution “expressing their deep concern” about cyber security threats from China, including the use of Huawei equipment in 5G network infrastructure.
While not binding, the resolution adds to the pressure the Chinese telecoms equipment maker is facing in western nations.
Although Huawei is not accused of actively helping Beijing conduct hostile cyber activities, Western security agencies fear that the company could be forced to allow the Chinese government access to their telecommunications networks to conduct both espionage and more kinetic operations.
The resolution, which called for action at an EU level on Chinese cyber security threats, came as MEPs adopted a cyber security certification scheme for products and services in the bloc.
At the same time as MEPs expressed their concerns about China’s cyber security activities, politicians in the European Commission agreed an EU-China action plan which would address members’ use of Huawei equipment.
The Commission stated it will adopt a recommendation on a common EU approach to security risks to 5G networks, although it did not provide a date for when this would be done.
Criticism of Huawei has been especially pronounced in the US, where the firm is taking the government to court after being banned from bidding for some government contracts.
At the time, the company’s chief legal officer Song Liuping said the ban was “based on numerous false, unproven and untested propositions”.
He added: “Huawei has an excellent security record and programme. No contrary evidence has been offered.”
The company has suggested that it is being targeted in a protectionist measure, rather than because of a legitimate cyber security threat.
In the UK, the company has been scrutinised by the National Cyber Security Centre due to its equipment’s prominence in critical national infrastructure.
Although its equipment isn’t allowed in sensitive networks, including government networks, it is widely in use by Britain’s big four telecommunications firms in their 4G infrastructure.
The next annual report by the NCSC’s Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre is due to be published by the summer.
At the same time, a government review into telecoms security which will recommend whether Huawei should be banned from UK networks will be completed in March.
Sky News understands the findings of the review may be too sensitive to publish, and that the ongoing Brexit negotiations may delay the release of the recommendations until later.
A spokesperson for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport told Sky News: “The security and resilience of the UK’s telecoms networks is of paramount importance.
“As part of our plans to provide world class digital connectivity, we are conducting a review of the supply chain to ensure a diverse and secure supply base, now and into the future.
“This is a thorough review into a complex area and will report with its conclusions in due course.”