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Italy strokes America’s ego over 5G security

Italy and the US had a joint press conference in which the Italian Foreign Minister made it clear he’s willing to play ball on securing his country’s 5G networks.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo seems to be on a bit of a European tour and he stopped off in Rome for a bit of Saltimbocca and gelato. Between meals he found time to meet up with Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, after which they held a press conference to share all the great chats they’d had.

Di Maio decided to confront the matter of 5G security upfront, without waiting for a question from the press. “Regarding 5G, I have conveyed to Secretary Pompeo that we have clear in mind the concerns that our U.S. allies have, and we’re fully aware of the responsibility that bears on every NATO country when the security of their allies comes into play,” he said.

“Italy is fully aware of the importance of ensuring the security of 5G networks.  This is an absolute priority to us, and for this, we are in favour of common European rules, a topic that I have often raised with the High Representative Josep Borrell, to the extent that I asked him that this should be a subject of discussion in the upcoming Council of European Affairs in the EU.

“We have introduced already legislation that increases the government’s possibility to monitor developing 5G networks, legislation that has been considered virtuous by the EU in several reports on this topic.  All the contracts and – in this domain have to be vetted by the golden power coordination group that has been established with the prime minister’s office.”

So Di Maio is saying all the right things about a common European policy, but implying he’s well up for making the rules stricter. Since those rules are largely determined by German domestic policy, the recent indication that it will be taking a harder line on 5G security would appear to confirm that US lobbying of its European allies is bearing fruit.

“The foreign minister and I had a long conversation about the United States concerns that the Chinese Communist Party is trying to leverage its economic presence in Italy to serve its own strategic purposes,” said Pompeo. “Rather than when American companies invest, the Chinese Communist Party is not here often to forge a sincere, mutually beneficial partnership.

“And as I discussed with the prime minister earlier, the United States also urges the Italian Government to consider carefully the risk to its national security and the privacy of its citizens presented by technology companies with ties to the Chinese Communist Party’s surveillance state.”

Now, which companies could Pompeo have been referring to?

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4 comments

  1. Avatar ezio mazzola 01/10/2020 @ 1:51 pm

    “Between meals he found time to meet up with Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio” ????????
    do you believe this is the way for professional reporting a meeting between 2 foreigner officers?
    My congratulation for your attitude. I will cancel my subscription from telecom.com immediately.
    no need such a comment in a technical web side

    • Scott Bicheno Scott Bicheno 01/10/2020 @ 4:00 pm

      Ciao

  2. Avatar Rocketman 03/10/2020 @ 7:22 pm

    Scott Bicheno looks like he is fat. I’m surprised he is making fun of another person’s weight when he is also fat.

    • Scott Bicheno Scott Bicheno 05/10/2020 @ 9:07 am

      Big boned.

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