US warns Faroes against Huawei

16.11.2019 - 06:12
US warns Faroes against Huawei
US Ambassador to Denmark, Carla Sands, urges Faroes and Greenland not to collaborate with Chinese tech giant Huawei
Huawei is planning to build the new 5G network in the Faroe Islands in collaboration with Føroya Tele

Carla Sands says she is glad that Danish telecoms firms have decided not to work with Huawei on the construction of their 5G network.

“The Faroe Islands and Greenland should think carefully before deciding to partner up with Huawei,” she writes in a letter to Danish newspaper Berlingske.

The reason, she says, is that Chinese state authorities collect and misuse “shocking” amounts of data.

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In her letter, she says that Chinese law states that companies must adhere to all demands by the country’s communist party, and that in a 5G future, Huawei may be forced to disclose data about its customers.

She likens the surveillance carried out by Chinese state authorities with the situation in the former Soviet Union and says it would be unwise of Faroese and Greenlandic authorities to work with the Chinese company.

Close collaboration

Føroya Tele is currently preparing a 5G network in the Faroese in close collaboration with Huawei.

Jan Ziskasen, CEO of Føroya Tele, says the company is taking the current debate on Huawei and possible state surveillance very seriously but adds that he cannot reveal further details at this point.

Minister advises caution

Trade minister Helgi Abrahamsen says he is unsure whether the US Ambassador’s comments should be viewed from a state security or a commercial perspective.

“Nobody has yet proved that Huawei is engaging in spying activity,” he says. “On the other hand, we also know that the Chinese have approved a law which more or less orders businesses to carry out espionage for the state. That of course is a cause for concern, and we are keeping a close eye on proceedings over there.”

He adds that many of the other nations with which the Faroese have trade relations may be carrying out espionage.

“It is never easy to guard oneself against such activity, but we should, of course, adopt a healthy sense of scepticism here.”


Translated by

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