US Warns Germany to Curb Intelligence Sharing in Case of Huawei Deal


Last week, Huawei sued the USA government for banning federal agencies from purchasing Huawei equipment - a restriction in the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier that Grenell had sent Economy Minister Peter Altmaier a threatening letter on 8 March.

The US has warned Germany that it would limit its intelligence sharing with the countries that allow Chinese tech giant Huawei to participate in its 5G communications network.

The battle with Huawei is one of many conflicts in Washington's disputes with China, but it is also exacerbating tensions in U.S.

Most of Europe's security agencies heavily rely on United States intelligence to fight terrorism, and the move of Trump's administration to deny access to the information to Germany is a massive blow against the country's anti-terrorism efforts.

Huawei has launched a more aggressive strategy in recent months to counter what it sees as an American "smear" campaign.

Chinese law obliges companies headquartered in the country to provide technical assistance to intelligence services, but Huawei has strenuously denied allegations its equipment could be used for espionage.

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But Huawei's 5G equipment is reputed to much further advanced than those of rivals Ericsson and Nokia, which has made it attractive for mobile operators looking to quickly roll out new networks.

The legal changes are still being finalised within Germany's ruling coalition, the ministry spokesman said.

In the past, Merkel has said she would talk with Beijing to secure "safeguards" against indirect spying via Huawei - looking to avoid taking sides as the U.S. and China row over a multitude of issues including trade.

"Because 5G networks are largely software-defined, updates pushed to the network by the manufacturer can radically change how they operate", Marquis told CNN.

Germany reportedly relies on United States intelligence to combat terrorism, so the threat of decreased collaboration in this area carries significant weight.

However, Germany's Federal Network Agency published tougher security guidelines for telecom providers, which require suppliers of 5G networks to be "trustworthy".

The U.S. Ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, issued the warning in a letter dated Friday, the newspaper said. However, a CNBC report found that, under Chinese law, Huawei would be compelled by the Chinese government to assist with government surveillance if the government asks.