Security officials from EU nations, Japan, the United States and Australia gathered in Prague on Thursday and Friday to discuss 5G cybersecurity threats.

The two-day conference held under the auspices of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš hoped to develop a series of non-binding recommendations on how to approach future cyber threats emerging from 5G technologies. The recommendations would also contribute to discussions within the EU and NATO on a common approach towards cyber threats.

Building a path towards consensus in 5G security is the right thing to do. A more science-based approach agreed to by the majority of the countries is the best way to balance the technological progress with the risks of this new revolutionary technology.

On the positive side, the organizer and the participants recognize the societal impact of 5G networks and connected technologies. As Prime Minister Andrej Babiš remarked during the welcome speech: “5G will change entire industries. Those sectors will be fully transformed by digital highways of communication, unprecedented computational power and networks of sensors…There will not be much human activity, that is not underpinned by cyber infrastructure…By protecting the 5G network, we will be protecting the very fabric of our societies, our ability to thrive, even to exist.”

Unfortunately, there were some notable exceptions at the conference. Russia, China, and Huawei were not invited to attend even though they are seen as the main “source” of the risks.

More information and non-sensitive parts of the conference are available at the Czech government’s website:

See my articles for more on societal impacts of 5G, the geopolitics of 5G and the summary of 5G security and privacy threats.

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Marin Ivezic is a Cybersecurity & Privacy Partner in PwC Canada focused on risks of emerging technologies.

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Luka Ivezic is an independent consultant and author exploring geopolitical and socioeconomic implications of emerging technologies such as 5G, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT). To better observe policy discussions and societal attitudes towards early adoptions of emerging technologies, Luka spent last five years living between US, UK, Denmark, Singapore, Japan and Canada. This has given him a unique perspective on how emerging technologies shape different societies, and how different cultures determine technological development.