The European Commission flagged the dangers of allowing non-EU countries to help build the European Union’s super-fast 5G internet network infrastructure, in a report published Wednesday.
The network could be a target for “threat actors” – most likely non-EU states or actors backed by non-EU states – the report stated.
Those with access to networks could be leveraged by states “to gain access to critical target assets,” it continued. The US has been urging the European Union to put a blanket ban on the inclusion of Chinese tech giant Huawei in the construction of 5G networks, claiming the state-aligned firm’s technology could be used for espionage.
The bloc has so far dug its heels in, saying it will carry out its own checks before making a decision. A toolbox of risk-mitigating measures is to be forward by the end of the year.
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The report did not single out Huawei but did draw attention to its high market share and its fellow Chinese firm ZTE in the field of 5G technology. Companies could potentially use networks to steal intellectual property and put themselves at a competitive advantage, the report found.
The roll-out of the 5G network, which is to connect “literally billion of objects” and transmit sensitive information, will “increase our reliance on third-party suppliers,” EU security commissioner Julian King noted in Brussels.