EU Warns Of Legal Risks With 5G Supplier Contracts


Ahead of a meeting of European ministers, a European Union (EU) document noted that governments in the bloc should mull the broader consequences of giving contracts to 5G suppliers. A draft document noted that, beyond technical risks in regards to cybersecurity, “non-technical factors such as the legal and policy framework to which suppliers may be subject to in third countries, should be considered,” CNBC reported.

The same document noted that European nations should “consider the need to diversify suppliers in order to avoid or limit the creation of a major dependency on a single supplier.”  The draft document arrives as the bloc sets the groundwork for the implementation of 5G and is set to be agreed the first week of next month at the meeting of EU ministers.

The next generation of mobile internet technology, 5G is made to offer very fast speeds for data. The debate over the providers of the technology, however, has become politicized. Officials in the United Kingdom and the United States, among other nations, have put forward concerns that suppliers such as Huawei could make for a security threat.

The EU Commission also said, per the outlet, “the risk profile of individual suppliers will become particularly important, including the likelihood of the supplier being subject to interference from a non-EU country.” But a spokesperson for the body, said in an e-mail, per CNBC, that the “report deliberately does not contain any references — explicit or implicit — to individual countries or suppliers.”

In separate news, the U.S. doesn’t have a comprehensive strategy for 5G security per one of five Federal Communications Commission (FCC) commissioners, Jessica Rosenworcel. The agency is moving to prohibit some Huawei equipment, noting that it poses a serious security threat. Rosenworcel said the need for more security preparation is apparent. “We don’t have a comprehensive effort,” she said. “We need one.”