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US warns Germany a Huawei deal could hurt intelligence sharing

AFP  |  Berlin 

The on Monday warned about future "information sharing" if it uses "untrusted vendors" in its telecom infrastructure amid debate over whether Chinese IT giant is an espionage risk.

reported that US sent a letter to German Economy on Friday warning that in such a case the US could scale down intelligence and other information exchanges.

A told AFP on Monday it would not comment on diplomatic communications, but added that its position on network security was well known.

"To the extent there are untrusted vendors in the networks of an ally, that could raise future questions about the integrity and confidentiality of sensitive communications within that country, as well as between that country and its allies," the said.

"This could in the future jeopardise nimble cooperation and some sharing of information. We are engaging intensively with our allies on how to secure our networks to ensure continued interoperability."

German Altmaier confirmed he had received the letter, but told AFP he could not comment on its contents, adding: "We will respond quickly". Germany, like other EU countries, has relied heavily on on terror and other threats provided by the National Security Agency, the Central

Intelligence Agency and other services.

The US and several other Western nations, fearful of the security risks posed by the company closely tied to the Chinese government, have shut out of tenders for the development of the newest infrastructure. The Chinese telecoms behemoth has strenuously denied the espionage allegations.

Germany, anxious to not get sucked into the maelstrom of an ongoing US-spat over a multitude of issues including trade, has taken a cautious stance on the issue.

has said it was necessary to talk to "to make sure that the company does not simply give up all data that is used to the Chinese state, but that there are safeguards".

Some measures in the works include adding a non-spying clause, a requirement to publish code sources used in the infrastructures as well as allowing independent laboratories to carry out tests on the components used. has quietly become a leading supplier of the for mobile networks, particularly in developing markets thanks to cheaper prices.

Germany, although it is Europe's leading economy, has seen its mobile infrastructure lag behind, with most Germans having access only to The is meant to be 100 times more rapid than 4G, and is viewed as the next major step in the digital revolution that makes data transfers almost instantaneous.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, March 12 2019. 01:40 IST