Dutch govt sets up task force to evaluate 5G network risks

The Dutch government has set up a special task force to evaluate security risks as it prepares to build a 5G telecommunications network, Reuters reported.
Huawei 5G base station in China
The task force will be inter-departmental. The national coordinator for counter-terrorism and security will head the task force. The task force will work with the three mobile network providers such as KPN, T-Mobile and VodafoneZiggo.

The announcement came after Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Friday said the government was still exploring options for 5G and had not yet formed an opinion on the possible role of Chinese companies.

The United States has lobbied Europe to shut out China’s Huawei from such projects, saying its equipment could be used by the Chinese government for espionage.

That view was supported by the Dutch security service, which advised the government this month against using technology from countries with active cyber-hacking campaigns against the Netherlands, including China and Russia.

A Dutch decision could be influenced by the confirmation last week that Dutch company ASML, a global leader in semiconductor lithography machines, had been the victim of intellectual property theft, reportedly by Chinese employees.

“The task force is analyzing the vulnerability of 5G networks for abuse by technology providers and what measures are needed to contain these risks,” Justice Minister Ferd Grapperhaus wrote in a letter to parliament. A recommendation was expected by the end of May, the letter said.