USA warns Germany a Huawei deal could hurt intelligence sharing

USA warns Germany a Huawei deal could hurt intelligence sharing

USA ambassador Richard Grenell said the United States would not be able to keep the same level of co-operation with German security agencies if Germany allowed Huawei or other Chinese firms to participate in its next-generation 5G mobile network, the Wall Street Journal reported.

A German security official said the situation is more nuanced, noting that the US didn't provide evidence to back up its Huawei warnings.

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

U.S. Ambassador Richard Grenell issued the warning in a letter to German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier dated Friday, the Journal reported.

USA intelligence provided by the National Security Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency and other spy services has given Germany, as well as European Union countries, information on terror and other threats.

Huawei has strenuously denied allegations its equipment could be used for espionage.

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Germany had announced on March 7 that it wouldn't stop any company from bidding on 5G communications contracts.

The US is trying to recruit Germany in its campaign against Huawei.

The letter said companies like Huawei could compromise secure and confidential communications in defense and intelligence cooperation, including within North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. However, they stressed that the United States would no longer trust Germany's lines because 'the Americans will assume that all information given to Germany will end up in China'.

Altmaier told a television talk show on Thursday that Germany did not want to ban Huawei but would change its laws to ensure all components used in the 5G networks are secure.

"Because 5G networks are largely software-defined, updates pushed to the network by the manufacturer can radically change how they operate", said Garrett Marquis, NSC spokesman. Recently, Germans used U.S. intelligence to stop the bombing that contains warfare agent ricin in Cologne previous year. According to a German interior ministry official familiar of the matter, the full list of conditions would be published six to eight weeks from now. 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.

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