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As far as GroenLinks and the VVD are concerned, the Netherlands should refrain from plans to purchase Chinese Hytera as a replacement for the current communication system for police and other emergency services. The C2000 system used so far is outdated and in need of replacement. However, the tender procedure did not go well for the two political parties.

Both the Green Left and the VVD point out that China is very active when it comes to espionage. The use of a Chinese communication system encourages this and makes it very easy for Chinese spies to do so. For this reason, according to the television programme Zembla, the security services objected to the government’s plans for Chinese Hytera to make a successor to the current C2000 system.

Excluding Chinese companies

Hytera was the company with the best bid in the tender procedure. But according to GroenLinks and the VVD, that shouldn’t be the deciding factor. According to members of the Lower House of Parliament of the two parties, major purchases such as these should not take place with Chinese parties.

In a statement, Minister Fred Grapperhaus of Justice and Security states that he is on guard. Hytera’s new system is no way to spy on the Chinese. In addition, various researchers are looking at the security of the system and the minister is in contact with the AIVD. The Minister doesn’t see any reason to break up with Hytera.

No 5G networks

There have been warnings for some time that Chinese companies, on behalf of their government, are installing backdoors in software and hardware systems. They are therefore legally obliged to cooperate with espionage requests. For this reason, western countries such as the United States and Australia have decided to exclude Chinese companies from tenders for the construction of 5G networks.

There is a risk, on the one hand, that the Chinese government will easily be able to eavesdrop on important communications via these 5G networks and, on the other hand, that the Chinese will be able to shut down the networks if they wish to do so. That is why there are also calls in the Netherlands for Huawei and ZTE, among others, to be excluded from this type of tender.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.