32 countries agree on 5G security guidelines

07 May 2019

Participants from 32 countries from Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific have agreed on a set of proposals for security guidelines in 5G networks, in a move that could spell further trouble for Huawei.

As part of a non-binding agreement known as the Prague Proposals released during the Prague 5G Security Conference, representatives agreed on an outline of a potential coordinated approach to securing 5G networks.

Officials from South Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, the US, Israel, the UK and a number of European markets signed the non-binding agreement.

The proposals state that security of 5G networks is “crucial for national security, economic security and other national interests and global stability,” and stresses the importance of the development of “adequate national strategies, sound policies, a comprehensive legal framework and dedicated personnel, who is trained and educated appropriately.”

Notably, one of the policy proposals involves ensuring that the “overall risk of influence on a supplier by a third country [is] taken into account.”

While no vendors were mentioned, the US, one of the signatories to the proposals, has been pressuring its allies to restrict Chinese vendors including Huawei from participating in national 5G rollouts due to unproven concerns that the Chinese government could use the equipment to facilitate cyberspying. Huawei has vigorously denied the allegations.

The Prague Proposals also include recommendations such as the development of international, open, consensus-based standards for 5G security, a call for regular vulnerability assessments for all components and network systems, and active collaboration and threat information sharing by the participating countries.

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