The Estonian parliament passed amendments to telecommunications law on May 12 to make sure providers of telecommunication services are screened from the point of view of national security.
“With a view to ensure the quality of networks, minimise the impact of cyber-attacks, and prevent political manipulations, it must be ensured that the establishment of communication networks and the provision of communications services … is effected with the help of secure technology and by reliable partners,” the Riigikogu, the lower house of the Estonian parliament, said in a statement.
The law was passed as the tech-savvy Estonia is gearing up to roll out 5G services, offering unprecedented speed of data transfer but also potentially opening up new possibilities for cyber attacks or espionage.
The Chinese telecom giant Huawei – which expressed concerns last year over Estonia’s cooperating with the US on the security of 5G networks – is thought to be a potential target of the law. The Estonian lawmakers dubbed it “the Huawei law,” Reuters reported, although, predictably, the law's text does not refer to any company by name.
Estonia’s cooperation with the US could put a strain on Tallinn’s work with China, as the US has made it clear that Huawei should not be part of the 5G development because of security risks.