US government threatens Germany apparently with restrictions on the cooperation of intelligence agencies, if the Chinese telecommunications provider Huawei should come into play in setting up the new 5G data standards. Although the American Embassy in Berlin did not want to confirm a message from the Wall Street Journal, US Ambassador Richard Grenell sent written warnings to Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier (CDU). However, the Federal Ministry of Economics announced that the letter had been received, would be checked and answered promptly.
According to the embassy spokesman, the American position is that, in cases where an untrusted provider operates in an allied data network, issues would be raised in order to maintain confidentiality and secure sensitive messages transmitted between the United States and that ally.
Further, the spokesman said that if such weaknesses exist, it could endanger the close cooperation and joint action of the security services. The American authorities have been working hard to clarify with their allies the question of how the communication networks could be secured in the future “to ensure cooperation in the future”.
The message of the American newspaper gives the same argumentation pattern as content of Grenell’s letter to Altmaier. The ambassador also noted that Huawei’s obligation under Chinese law is to serve Chinese security interests and that it will not be possible to minimize the risk of information being passed on to Chinese intelligence services through controls.
The US Ambassador Grenell had already attracted attention in recent months with warnings to German authorities and companies. A first warning went to those companies that continued to do business with Iran despite the renewed US sanctions; he directed a second warning against the project of the German-Russian gas pipeline Nordstream 2.