Tech

EU lawmakers blast leadership over China hacking risks

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A group of European Parliament lawmakers chided top EU officials for failing to provide them with basic training on how to protect their devices from hacking and surveillance when traveling in countries such as China, exposing them to risks.

In a letter sent Friday and obtained by POLITICO, more than 30 lawmakers urged Parliament leaders to be more explicit about the risk of hacking and surveillance during sensitive trips abroad, pointing to U.S. measures targeting Chinese firms Huawei and ZTE over security risks.

The letter urged Parliament leaders “to provide for explicit sections on digital security in every briefing MEPs receive when they visit third countries.”

Security training should also include tips to avoid getting hacked or placed under surveillance, they wrote, and officials should be encouraged to use end-to-end encrypted communication tools.

“When MEPs visited China earlier this year, no mention was made in the preparatory documents about the measures MEPs may take to protect their personal and professional communications against digital espionage attempts,” the letter reads. “What is the Parliaments policy on protecting its MEPs and staff against the abuse of [digital] devices and services?”

The parliament members pointed to recent political moves in the U.S. to shut telecom equipment makers Huawei and ZTE out of government contracts, as well as a recent vote on the security implications of using Kaspersky security software on EU officials computers.

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