US tells Germany to drop Huawei or it’ll limit intel sharing, report says

Germany’s potential use of Huawei in its 5G rollout is a sticking point for the US.

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The US will limit the amount of intelligence it shares with Germany’s security agencies if Huawei builds the country’s 5G infrastructure, a report said.

US Ambassador to Germany Richard A. Grenell wrote to the country’s economics minister Friday — the first time the Trump administration has directly warned an ally about working with the Chinese telecom, according to The Wall Street Journal.

An unnamed State Department official told the paper that the US won’t cut Germany out of its intelligence sharing network altogether, but it wouldn’t be able to share with the same transparency for fear of the information reaching China.

Europe’s security agencies relied heavily on US intelligence to stop terrorist attacks, the Journal noted.

In recent weeks, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made several indirect warnings about Huawei equipment, which Washington says is used to spy for the Chinese government (an allegation the company denies). Last week, Huawei sued the US government over its ban on the company’s equipment.

Last week, Germany said it didn’t want to ban Huawei from building its 5G network, noting that it’d tighten security around all vendors instead, Reuters reported.

Neither the US State Department nor Huawei immediately responded to requests for comment, while Germany’s economics minister declined comment.

First published at 5:55 a.m. PT.
Updated at 7:08 a.m. PT: Notes that German economics minister declined comment.

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