The Dutch government on Monday said it had established a special task force to weigh potential security risks as it prepares to build a 5G telecommunications network.
The announcement came after Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, on Friday said his government was still exploring options for 5G and had not yet formed an opinion on the possible role of Chinese companies.
The United States (US) has lobbied Europe to shut out China’s Huawei from such projects, saying its equipment could be used by the Chinese government for espionage.
That view was supported by the Dutch security service, which advised the government this month against using technology from countries with active cyber-hacking campaigns against the Netherlands, including China and Russia.
A Dutch decision could be influenced by the confirmation last week that Dutch company ASML, a global leader in semiconductor lithography machines, had been the victim of intellectual property theft, reportedly by Chinese employees.
“The task force is analysing the vulnerability of 5Gnetworks for abuse by technology providers and what measures are needed to contain these risks,” Justice Minister Ferd Grapperhaus wrote in a letter to parliament.
The task force will be inter-departmental, led by the national coordinator for counter-terrorism and security, andwill work with the three largest network providers, KPN, T-Mobile and Vodafone Ziggo.
A recommendation was expected by the end of May, the letter said.