"The Romanian state must ensure that 5G networks can never be used against the Romanian state or its allies".
Secretary of State and Chief Government Information Officer at the General Secretariat of the Government, Marian Murguleţ, stated that an important step in organizing the 5G spectrum auction is the transposition of the 5G memorandum signed between the Romanian and the United States governments, and that the Romanian state must ensure that 5G networks can never be used against the Romanian state or its allies during this hybrid war.
He stated: "First of all, I would like to tell you that an important step in organizing the 5G spectrum auction, more precisely in conditions of transparency and predictability, is the need to transpose the memorandum signed last year, between the US and Romanian governments, on the development of 5G technology, respectively the transposition of this memorandum into national legislation.
Given the strategic relevance of 5G, it is appropriate that the assessment of risks and opportunities in this case also meet national security needs.
I have said it before and I will say it again: Romania will operate with security criteria for future infrastructure stability, agreed upon a European level, we know about Eu Tool Box, but even with those criteria included in memorandum of agreement with the United States for development of new technology which, we all know, is a natural extension of the strategic partnership in the military field. We have to ensure that our technology, including the 5G network, cannot be ever used against the interest of the Romanian state and its allies in this hybrid war. This is why it is necessary to ensure that this technology is controlled by us, and for that to happen we must implement a set of concrete measures, and relying on the statement of the manufacturer is not enough. Any technology that has shown to have vulnerabilities that can be exploited, must be verified and must be approved by a Romanian state body. Of course, from an economic point of view, we would like to be at the forefront of implementing new technologies, but the IOT industry (Internet of Things), which is based on 5G technology is not yet mature and has cyber security problems. Yesterday I actually saw a statement from Bitdefender showing the vulnerability of a smart lock, through which attackers can access data from the Wifi in that home and can control all devices connected to that Wifi network. These are not imagined risks, but risks at every step, and we all know about them. "
Murguleţ also said that he can understand very well that the commercial interests of both the operators and the technology providers, is to have the 5G auction organized as soon as possible, but the state has the duty to analyze all the security risks.
"From the current position of State Representative I tell you that the Romanian state has a duty to analyze the impact of the delay in implementing 5G, related primarily to cyber security risks. We cannot think of economic gain simply as a goal in itself, without taking into account the wider context. No doubt we would like to complete this auction as soon as possible, in the best financial and technological conditions. Let me give an example: let's remember the tragic attacks on 9/11 in the United States and imagine what a future attack would be like - terrorists could take unauthorized control of commercial UAVs that will operate autonomously on this 5G highway. And this is to make myself understood when I say that it is very important to weigh in the economic advantages versus the risks.”
Regarding the risks highlighted by Murguleţ, Nicolae Oacă, doctor and telecommunications consultant, intervened and specified that "all these risks are specific to the technology and are not specific to a certain supplier.” The specialist also predicted that the 5G auction will not be held this year and that the law proposed by the Ministry of Transport and Communications will upset the communications market.
"Then the law should have been done differently, not by imposing criteria that would lead to the exclusion of some providers (Huawei - n.r). The law should be made by creating a great importance of national context for the issue of security for 5G networks, a national agency and security measures, following the model of the European Commission ", said Oaca, stating that the purpose of the law as is, is to exclude suppliers of 5G equipment from China.
In response, Murguleţ stated that he did not refer to a specific supplier: "All suppliers must be treated with the same set of measures. I believe that this draft legislation proposes a unitary set of criteria and I do not think it is addressed to a specific supplier or another".
Oacă also responded by stating that "the vulnerability should not be addressed by requiring the provider to declare it at its own risk".
Murguleţ later stated: "We, the Romanian state, have the obligation to make sure that no technology, and I do not mean a supplier, no technology will allow and we will not leave a certain supplier, whoever it may be, - once again we are not talking about Huawei, Nokia or anyone else - we will not put ourselves completely at his discretion, so that he can shutdown a network at a time when he will consider us an enemy state".
Given that the period of public debate on the draft law ends next week, Murgulet said that "it is important to have everyone's opinions on the table and as to have an informed analysis" regarding the provisions of the legislative act. In disagreemnt, Alexandru Borcea, president of the Romanian Association for the Electronics and Software Industry (ARIES), pointed to the fact that the public debate period is very short: only 8 working days, as opposed to 30 working days as required by law. The same thing was highlighted by Liviu Popescu, director of the Association of Mobile Operators in Romania (AOMR).
At the same time, regarding the end-consumer price after the implementation of 5G networks, Murgulet said that it is "regulated by the market and not by the authorities", and "a small profit margin, from the experience in the private sector, means low investments".
At the same time, Murgulet also said: "But because the topic of the debate it's very attractively named "What problems does 5G technology present and what problems does it solve", I would like to say that I am a fan, a fan of technology in general, and I would like to point out, for the general public, some problems that 5G solves. 5G is the new generation of mobile phone service, that comes as a natural development after 2G technology, when we only had mobile voice, 3G, voice plus data, and 4G when we also had high speeds. The first phase of 5G comes not only with significantly increased connection speeds but also with the possibility of connecting the equipment and objects present in our daily lives. We see around us more and more smart devices, from mobile phones to children's scooters. 5G refers in principle to the significant improvement of the mobile internet, to high-speed cable internet, to large-scale communications between machines, for critical services and differentiating technical capabilities. The impact that the new technologies, that these new types of technologies, will have on our daily lives is a huge one, and today we can only anticipate it. "