‘It’ll open us to espionage’ — NSA raises concerns over deployment of 5G

The office of the national security adviser (NSA) has raised concerns over the deployment of 5th Generation (5G) technology in the country.

While appearing before the senate committee on communications on Thursday, Bala Fakandu, director of communications in NSA, said they are concerned with the “vulnerabilities and backdoors within the 5G network equipment.”

The senate resolved to probe the “true status” of 5G in May after there were rumours that the technology caused COVID-19.

This claim has however been found to be false.

Fakandu urged the ministry of communications and digital economy to carry them along in the formulation of the policy that would guide the use of 5G in the country.

“We are concerned about the deliberate vulnerabilities and backdoors within the 5G network equipment,” the director said.

“That is one of the key concerns we have and this will make the infrastructure highly susceptible to eavesdropping, tracking, cyber-attacks, military and industrial espionage and other malicious activities by foreign actors.

“We understand these are things that will be put in place particularly in the policy the minister has talked about.

“I need to emphasise it so that the stakeholders in the telecommunications industry will understand where we are coming from because the national security concerns is the concern of the office of the national security adviser and of the president as well.”

On his part, Isa Pantami, minister of communications, said there is no link between 5G and COVID-19 or any other disease.

“There is no link between 5G and COVID-19,” Pantami said.

“There is no relationship between 5G and any disease, the only issue being raised usually is about radiation but people don’t realise that the radiation of 4G is more harmful than that of 5G.

“The radiation of microwave oven at home is more harmful than that of the 5G.”

The minister added that if there are medical and security concerns linked to 5G, he would have been a victim because he has tested the technology.

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