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Considering that secure fifth generation wireless communications networks (5G) will be vital to both prosperity and national security in the near future, the United States and Estonia declare their desire to strengthen our cooperation on 5G.  5G will enable a vast array of new applications, including the provision of advanced critical services to the public, which will benefit our citizens and our economies.  Increased amounts of data on 5G networks will further interconnect the economies of all countries, including the United States and Estonia and facilitate cross-border services and commerce.  Protecting communications networks from disruption or manipulation and ensuring the privacy and individual liberties of the citizens of the United States, Estonia, and other countries is of vital importance.

Therefore, the United States and Estonia endorse the Prague Proposals, the Chair’s statement from the Prague 5G Security Conference, as an important step toward developing a common approach to 5G network security and ensuring a secure and vibrant communication network ecosystem.  The Prague Proposals emphasize the need for 5G networks to be constructed based on free and fair competition, transparency, and the rule of law.

The United States and Estonia note that as part of a robust and comprehensive approach to network security, a careful and complete evaluation of component and software providers is essential.  We believe that all countries must ensure that only trusted and reliable suppliers participate in our networks to protect them from unauthorized access or interference.  A rigorous evaluation of providers and supply chains should include the following elements:

  • suppliers should not be subject to control by a foreign government without independent judicial review;
  • financing should be transparent, commercially-based, and follow standard best practices in procurement, investment, and contracting;
  • ownership, partnerships, and corporate governance structures should be transparent;
  • commitment to innovation and respect for intellectual property rights; and
  • track record regarding respect for the rule of law; the security environment; vendor ethics malfeasance; and compliance with secure standards and industry best practices to promote a vibrant and robust supply of products and services.

The United States and Estonia believe that it is critical for countries to transition away from untrusted information and communications technology providers and supply chains to trusted ones.  These efforts will not only improve our national security, but also provide opportunities for private sector innovators to succeed under free and fair competition, which will benefit our digital economies.  Further, the United States and Estonia intend to collaborate on raising awareness of the importance of 5G security among North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Allies.