German Government Backs Bill Requiring 5G Security Pledge

December 16, 2020 Updated: December 16, 2020

BERLIN—German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Cabinet approved a bill Dec. 16 that would require companies involved in setting up critical infrastructure such as high-speed 5G networks to guarantee that their equipment can’t be used for sabotage, espionage, or terrorism.

The bill, which now goes to parliament, seeks to address concerns that vendors such as Chinese tech company Huawei might pose a security risk if they have access to core parts of the German telecoms network.

Companies will be required to submit a “guarantee” that contains details on how they ensure that components of critical systems can’t be misused for illegal purposes.

A vendor that fails to meet the threshold for trustworthiness can be banned from operating equipment.

The measure doesn’t amount to an outright ban on Huawei in Germany, as demanded by the United States. The Trump administration has threatened to cut off intelligence sharing with countries that use Huawei gear.

Huawei denies U.S. allegations of facilitating Chinese spying. China is a major trading partner of Germany.