Reporter: What is the price of Estonian security?
REPORTER: The cooperation of the U.S. and Estonia through the S&T agreement relates also to 5G and mobile connection issues. The program Clean Network is created to ensure that 5G networks are established with transparent technologies. In the U.S., equipment provided by Huawei are ruled out in this expensive business, they are not even included to the negotiations of the network establishment. Europe is not united in approach to this affordable Chinese equipment. The U.S. side claims it all comes down to trust issues, as too many threats are linked to the Huawei technology.
UNDER SECRETARY KEITH KRACH: In this business, the codes are changing every day. They can do literally anything they want. And it has been proven that they have done it before. We don’t see anybody associated with Chinese Communist Party honoring any agreements. By the way, just ask the people of Hong Kong!
REPORTER: The Under Secretary also stressed the Chinese legislation requesting that any companies provide data at the request of state or defense forces. By refusing, consequences follow.
ANDY PURDY, HUAWEI VICE PRESIDENT ON CYBER SECURITY: The law does not apply to a company like Huawei, it does not apply outside of the United States, it does not require us to do anything unproper. The countries in the world — the U.S., and the EU — have laws and rules for lawful process to access information. That lawful process applies to telecom and mobile operators. We just supply the equipment, it’s run by the telecommunications and mobile operators.
REPORTER: Today, 25 of 30 NATO countries have joined the Clean Network. Therefore, 5G networks have an important role in NATO’s future information communication, explaining Americans’ mistrust of Chinese technology with a different value space.
FOREIGN MINISTER URMAS REINSALU: We are allies and also military allies — this cooperation is carried out very extensively. We are using modern technology platforms — that is why it is important that we have trust in each other’s technology. This is not the case for those countries that want to use politically motivated technology to manipulate their hands, and that is extremely important.
REPORTER: According to Huawei, excluding this technology will have serious economic consequences for the construction of future networks, especially for a country as small as Estonia.
PURDY: The U.S. government is going to provide a $2 million subsidy to fund those companies to rip out our gear – and they’re going to take a very long time to do it. Who’s going to pay the price in Estonia for ripping out our gear over the timeframe?
REINSALU: For us, security is invaluable, that here we have a price tag for security. It means putting a price tag on freedom, that we have military cooperation with the United States, a military presence with the United States in the region, a NATO presence in the region — all in a very complex system. And for us, there is no doubt that the ‘A and O’ [the core] of our diplomacy, our interests, and our technological issues, are that we can defend our freedom with our allies.