America Seeks 5G and Supply Chain SecurityFormer US Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff Describes the Next Steps
The U.S. is late to the 5G race. But there are multiple strategies that policymakers can pursue to facilitate the near-term rollout of safer and more trusted 5G networks across the country, says Michael Chertoff, executive chairman of The Chertoff Group and former secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.
The security concerns center on using equipment built by Chinese manufacturers, such as Huawei, which continue to be heavily subsidized by Beijing as part of its move to dominate the 5G marketplace, Chertoff says. But U.S. officials have continued to warn that ties between Huawei and the Chinese government mean that the manufacturer's hardware cannot be trusted, and it might be subverted by the Chinese government for nation-state espionage campaigns.
In a video interview with Information Security Media Group at RSA 2020, Chertoff also discusses:
- Three things the U.S. must do now to close the 5G gap;
- How long it will take until U.S. telecommunication companies can source affordable, trusted alternatives to Huawei technology;
- Why some U.S. allies have chosen to allow at least some Huawei equipment in their telecommunications networks;
- The spectrum debate, and whether additional spectrum might be freed to facilitate 5G adoption in the U.S..
Chertoff is co-founder and executive chairman of The Chertoff Group. He is also senior of counsel at Covington & Burling LLP, and a member of the firm’s white collar defense and Investigations practice group. From 2005 to 2009, he served as secretary of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush. Before that, he served as a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and also spent more than a decade as a federal prosecutor, ultimately serving as assistant U.S. attorney general for the Department of Justice's Criminal Division.