Chinese tech giant Huawei has threatened to go to court if the Czech
National Cyber and Information Security Agency does not cancel or adjust
its warning against incorporating Huawei technology, the daily Deník N
reports. The company has apparently stated this in letters sent to Prime
Minister Andrej Babiš and Dušan Navrátil, the agency’s director.
Huawei has demanded an answer by February 14. The government discussed the
matter on Friday and decided that Huawei's letter will be answered by
the cybersecurity agency and not by government.
The threat of international arbitration follows the withdrawal by various government ministries from contracts with Huawei after the Czech cyber watchdog issued a warning in December against using Huawei technology in the state’s critical infrastructure.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš
said cyber-security concerns should be resolved at EU-level.
The Czech prime minister met with the president of the Huawei executive board Ken Hu within the framework of the forum, to inform him about the present situation.
He said that in the wake of a security warning regarding Huawei products by the National Cyber and Security Information Agency, Czech experts were analysing the possible security risks to the country’s infrastructure.
When the warning was released a few weeks ago Prime Minister Andrej Babiš ordered the Office of the Government to cease using mobile phones produced by the Chinese company. Other Czech government bodies have followed suit.
The Czech government has ordered the administrators of the country’s
critical infrastructure to carry out an analysis of the risks of using
software and hardware produced by Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE. This
concerns a total of 160 public and private organisations.
The National Cyber and Security Information Agency has been instructed to provide them with assistance in this regard, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said on Tuesday.
The National Cyber and Security Information Agency last month flagged up the usage of Huawei and ZTE products as a potential security threat.
The Czech Republic’s cyber security institution, NCISA, has released a warning that Huawei devices may be used to damage the country’s national interests. Following the warning’s release, many institutions including the Office of the Government and a number of ministries have reacted by banning Huawei phones. The new measures are likely to impact ongoing tenders as well.
The government has approved the hiring of 1,000 new police officers to
bolster the current force of 40,000.
The aim, according to Interior Minister Jan Hamáček (Social Democrat), is to ensure that the Czech Republic remains among the most secure countries in the world.
About 150 of the new positions will be assigned to specialised police units tasked with fighting cybercrime, terrorism and extremism, or financial crime.
The overall crime rate has dropped about 7 percent last year in annual terms, but instances of cybercrime and online fraud rose by some 6 percent.
An appeals court has reduced to seven years a prison sentence handed down
to a Czech woman who defrauded a Norwegian man out of 53 million crowns.
They had met on an online portal offering erotic services.
The woman, then 27, had asked her 60-year-old victim for loans for various things, such as to pay for knee surgery, to buy a car and purchase food for her cat, convincing the Norwegian she would pay him back later.
After havving been sentenced to eight years in prison for fraud the woman, Barbora Havířová, immediately filed an appeal.
The decision of the High Court of Appeal in Olomouc reduced her sentence by one year, a spokesperson for the Court of First Instance in Brno said. The judgment is final.
The Czech intelligence service BIS played a big part in helping to identify
and disconnect Hezbollah servers in the Czech Republic, other EU member
states and the US, the agency’s head Michal Koudelka said in a press
statement for the ctk news agency.
The cyber espionage group running them operated fake Facebook accounts in order to hack computers and acquire information.
It had been under surveillance since 2017.