The US has reportedly changed its tune in the weeks since it threatened to limit intelligence sharing with Germany if the country failed to drop Huawei from its 5G rollout.
Senior US officials are “highly satisfied” with Germany’s regulations setting strict 5G security standards, regardless of the provider, newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung reported Sunday, citing anonymous German government sources.
The country’s standards for 5G security are apparently so high that unreliable companies have no hope of meeting them, which the US says is the “perfect” approach. As a result, it’s no longer demanding that Germany explicitly ban Huawei, according to the paper.
Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy declined comment on the US reaction, but confirmed that its already high standards for telecoms has “just been raised again by the Federal Network Agency.”
“Those new basic points are the base of the new catalogue on security standards, that is being worked out at the moment,” it said in an emailed statement.
“All telecommunication providers have to obey them, not just Huawei and not just for 5G, but also for 4G networks, for example.”
“What the United States is urging allies to do is institute security processes that include, among other factors, looking at whether any particular vendor is subject to unchecked or extrajudicial control by a foreign power that could direct that vendor to break host country laws or undermine its security,” a US State Department spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
In March, US Ambassador to Germany Richard A. Grenell reportedly wrote to the country’s economics minister, saying the US wouldn’t be able to share intelligence with the same transparency for fear of the information reaching China.
That followed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo making several indirect warnings about Huawei equipment, which Washington says is used to spy for the Chinese government — an allegation the company denies.
Huawei didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Originally published at April 8, 5:37 a.m. PT.
Updated at April 9, 2:40 a.m. PT: Adds comment from Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.