The Netherlands imposes measures to combat spying on communications

On Wednesday, the Dutch government ordered a set of new security regulations for telecommunications service providers, including rules for equipment and software suppliers, and a requirement that only people who undergo a security check be allowed to enter networks.

The requirements – which will cover major service providers such as: KPN, T-Mobile and Vodafone – are part of a series of moves to bolster standards after a 2019 assessment of the risks posed by China and other countries. Which was identified as having an “offensive cyber strategy”.

In a ministerial decree, the Minister of Small Economic Affairs (Mona Keijsers) also specified that telecom service providers must retain network data for a period of at least three months in case it is needed to analyze “advanced threats and attack vectors”.

Britain and France effectively banned Huawei from helping to build 5G communications networks, and the Netherlands government said last year that vendors could be excluded if they had “close ties with foreign governments involved in espionage.” It did not specifically name Huawei, despite pressure from parliament to do so.

Last month, KPN said it would use the Swedish company (Ericsson) to build the basic elements of fifth-generation mobile phone networks.

In May, the Senate passed a law giving the government the power to prevent “unwanted” takeovers of telecommunications companies. This includes an obligation on any potential buyer of a stake in excess of 30 percent in a Dutch telecom company to request the government first.

The Swedish Post and Communications Authority (PTS) – responsible for regulating Swedish telecommunications – suspended the auction of 5G network frequencies yesterday, after the court suspended parts of the authority’s decision that excluded the Chinese company Huawei for telecommunications equipment from 5G networks.

Sweden last month followed the UK in banning Huawei equipment from the 5G network due to national security risks.

It asked the companies participating in the 5G auction to remove the components from the Chinese company by January 1, 2025. Huawei appealed last week against the decision.

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