Representatives from a number of countries around the world – excluding Russia, China and representatives from technology giant Huawei – met to discuss the security of 5G networks as many countries prepare for deployment of the technology, according to a report by Reuters.
The U.S. has been trying to stymie the participation of Chinese telecom manufacturers like Huawei, alleging that the company’s infrastructure could potentially be used for spying by the Chinese government, an allegation the company denies.
The meeting was attended by representatives from 30 European Union and NATO countries, as well as Japan, Germany and Australia. It was meant to outline practices to create a coordinated approach to security and policy surrounding the technology.
One diplomatic source who spoke to Reuters said that a non-binding summary by the chair of the meeting would be issued on Friday (May 3), and that it would have principles for further discussions.
“It is an attempt to widen the discussion to a platform that should involve the entire Western civilization,” the source said.
The conclusions drawn from the meeting would be mostly informal, as some countries are still debating the technology at home. The document was said to have security conditions that would be especially difficult for Chinese providers to meet.
“Risk assessments of suppliers’ products should take into account all relevant factors, including applicable legal environment and other aspects of a supplier’s ecosystem,” the draft of the agreement said.
Huawei responded by saying it hoped the meeting would lead to a more scientific but “unemotive” way of approaching the technology.
“We fully support international standards, international verification that is based on facts and evidence,” said Huawei Senior Vice President and Global Cyber Security and Privacy Officer John Suffolk.
The technology will be instrumental in the connected products of the future, including self-driving cars, artificial intelligence, augmented reality and smart cities, to name a few. Because of the high stakes and the potential ability for hackers to compromise these technologies, many countries are taking the issue very seriously.