All of Europe must stand with America on 5G - Polish PM

2020-07-16 13:07 update: 2020-07-18, 11:59
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. Photo. PAP/Wojciech Olkuśnik
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. Photo. PAP/Wojciech Olkuśnik
Protecting technology is a crucial part of national security, therefore Europe cannot afford to depend on unreliable suppliers controlled by authoritarian governments, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki wrote on Thursday in the UK's Daily Telegraph.

In Morawiecki's opinion, actions shaping the economies after the Covid-19 pandemic must include the need to prevent long-term economic dependency on unreliable partners.

"The pandemic has made us painfully aware of how crucial it is to have our own secure production lines for pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, and laboratories. The same goes for 5G decisions. Disregarding the need to secure our critical technology would be a mistake for which Europeans would pay a considerable price," the Polish prime minister wrote.

According to him, national security must be an integral part of the European thinking about globalisation and that globalisation free from democratic control can have hazardous consequences. "Today, our globalised world is facing undue influence from authoritarian nations, at Europe's expense," Morawiecki wrote. 

In his view, modern telecommunications infrastructure will largely determine Europe's prosperity and its place in the global supply chain system, and the 5G network will change the transfer of critical information, accelerating the functioning of communication and, thus, the economy as a whole, to an incomparable extent.

"For this technology to serve good purposes, its implementation must be based on trust and democratic control. Otherwise, we risk that today's crisis will be only a prelude to what awaits us if an unauthorised entity took control of 5G networks and supply chains. Soon, our entire economy will be based on this technology, and unable to function without it. We cannot afford for it to fall into the hands of cybercriminals, state-sponsored or otherwise," Morawiecki wrote.

When building a 5G network one needs to answer the question of who can be trusted, he wrote. According to him the choices are clear, as there are two trusted European vendors, world-class firms with transparent business practices based on the rule of law. On the other side are two companies controlled by an authoritarian regime, he argued.

"Technological security, just like epidemiological security, is a crucial dimension of national security. Countries must be able to control technology suppliers to ensure safety, which is why they must be from countries that respect our fundamental values: democracy, transparency, human rights, and the rule of law. Otherwise, our control over them will be illusory, and the responsibility for security ill-defined," Morawiecki wrote. 

Pointing out that the alliance with the United States has brought prosperity and peace to post-war Western Europe and brings security to almost all of the continent to this day, the Polish prime minister argued that Europe needs to continue this alliance in a technological dimension, especially when it comes to the construction of a 5G network. 

In his opinion, for this network to be kept secure, all European entrepreneurs must maintain clean production lines, free from potential industrial espionage and safe from attacks that could interrupt their operations and harm the entire economy.

"We call on all countries and companies, especially our European neighbours, to adopt a clean path of robust national measures to secure their 5G networks. Just as in epidemiological security, realism in technological protection is essential for long-term maintenance of the economic rules of the game that will serve – and save – us all," Morawiecki concluded. (PAP)