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Poland could restrict the use of Huawei products after arrested worker



WARSAW (Reuters) – Poland could consider banning the use of Huawei products by public bodies, a senior official said on Sunday after arresting a Chinese Huawei official in Eastern European country last week.

FILE PHOTO: Participants pass at a Huawei booth in 2019 CES in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA on January 9, 2019. REUTERS / Steve Marcus / File Photo

The Polish government could also look to tighten the legislation for to allow authorities to limit the availability of products made by any company considered to pose a security threat.

Poland arrested a Chinese employee of Huawei and a former Polish security officer on spying allegations, officials and sources told Reuters Friday, a step that could burn Western security issues about the telecom equipment maker.

An official responsible for cyber security told Reuters "abrupt" political changes against Huawei was not justified after the arrest.

But he said the use of company products by government entities could be revised.

"We want to analyze whether … our decision can put an end to the use of Huawei products," explained Karol Okonski to Reuters.

"We do not have the legal means to force private companies or citizens to stop using the products of an IT company. It cannot be ruled out that we will consider legislative changes that allow such a move," he added.

On Friday, a Polish security services spokesman said the Polish official arrested by the country's internal security agency (ISA) was responsible for issuing security certificates for equipment used by the public administration.

"(He) used to work for a number of public institutions, had important leadership positions and was also associated with … institutions that protect internal security," he told the broadcaster.

Huawei said he had dismissed his employee and added his "alleged actions have no relation to the company."

Huawei, the world's largest manufacturer of telecommunications equipment, faces intense Western control over its relationship with China's government and US-led claims that its units could be used by Beijing for espionage.

No evidence has been presented publicly, and the company has repeatedly denied the allegations, but several Western countries have restricted Huawei's access to their markets.

Polish internal minister, Joachim Brudzinski, urged the EU and NATO to work in a common position on whether Huawei should be excluded from their markets.

"We are exploring the readiness of the MEPs (EU and NATO) to work in a common position," says Okonski to Reuters, referring to the new generation of 5G telecommunications infrastructure.

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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