European Parliament adopts Cybersecurity Act to counter Chinese IT threat

European Parliament adopts Cybersecurity Act to counter Chinese IT threat


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European parliamentarians approved at the Strasbourg plenary a certification on cybersecurity for products, processes, and services sold in EU countries and, in a separate resolution, expressed concern over the threat that Chinese technology poses to data protection.

In addition to the certification system, the EU gave the go-ahead for an extension of the mandate of the EU Agency for Cybersecurity and decided to allocate more resources to carry out its tasks.

The resolution highlighted Europe’s growing concern about China’s market position in the development of 5G infrastructure equipment, which is sold on the international market by telecom giant Huawei. Worries about Huawei stem from a widely-held belief that the Chinese security services and other Chinese manufacturers have designed programmes that can gain unauthorised access to personal data and telecommunications information.

The European Members of Parliament called on the Commission and all EU members to provide guidance on how to combat cyber-threats. For its part, the Commission announced a 10-point plan to achieve a better balance of economic relations with China, stating that t it will issue a recommendation following the European Council meeting on 21-22 March, where the Commission will call for a common EU approach to the security of 5G networks.

This move by the Commission and European Parliament comes after great pressure from the US administration and Donald J. Trump, himself, being very vocal about the dangers of using Huawei products for their 5G equipment, arguing a risk to their national security. According to Washington, the group’s infrastructure, the world’s largest in the sector, could be used by Chinese intelligence services.

Australia and New Zealand have already opted out of the use of Huawei’s 5G equipment.

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