US bans Chinese telecom devices, citing ‘national security’ | Telecommunications News

The US Federal Communications Commission decision covers equipment from Huawei, ZTE and other manufacturers.

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced a ban on telecommunications and video surveillance equipment from well-known Chinese brands, including Huawei and ZTE, citing “unacceptable risks” for national security”.

The five-member FCC said Friday it had voted unanimously to pass new rules that would prevent the importation or sale of targeted products.

“Our unanimous decision represents the first time in FCC history that we have voted to ban the licensing of communications and electronic equipment based on national security considerations,” said FCC Commissioner Brendan. Carr said in a statement Friday.

He added that the move had “broad, bipartisan support” among US congressional leadership.

WE Security officials warned that equipment from Chinese brands like Huawei can be used to interfere with fifth-generation (5G) wireless networks and collect sensitive information.

The FCC said the ban is the latest in a years-long effort to “keep US networks secure” by identifying and banning devices deemed to be a security threat.

Friday’s initiative also includes a ban on Hytera Communications, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co and Dahua Technology Co.

Huawei declined to comment for Reuters. ZTE, Dahua, Hikvision and Hytera did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Huawei and the Chinese government have long denied it accusations of espionage and oppose US sanctions against Chinese technology.

But in 2019, then-US President Donald Trump signed into law the Trusted and Secure Communications Networks Act, which established criteria for identifying communications services Washington deems available. may pose a risk to national security.

Services designated as threats under that law are then subject to the Safety Devices Act of 2021, signed by President Joe Biden.

That action formed the basis for Friday’s announcement. It directed the FCC to “adopt rules making it clear that it will no longer review or license new equipment” to those companies.

At the time, Florida Senator Marco Rubio praised Biden’s decision.

“The Chinese Communist Party will not spare any means to abuse our laws and undermine our national security,” he said in a statement. “This law closes a dangerous loophole in our law, limiting their efforts to infiltrate our telecommunications networks.”

As one of the world’s largest telecommunications equipment manufacturers, Huawei has strained relations with the United States and its allies, facing some of the heaviest sanctions ever imposed. for a single company in the United States.

Huawei CEO Meng Wanzhou was arrested and detained for nearly three years in Canada following allegations by the US Department of Justice that she attempted to violate sanctions by attempting to conduct business dealings with Iran.

She was indicted on bank and wire fraud charges and faced with US extradition proceedings in a Canadian court, causing a diplomatic crisis between Canada, the United States and China. Meng was released and returned to China in 2021.

Earlier this year, Canada joined the United States in ban Huawei from 5G wireless network.

Another FCC commissioner, Geoffrey Starks, described Friday’s ban as a precautionary measure that would provide future benefits.

“By preventing equipment identified as a threat to the United States from entering our market, we significantly reduce the risk that such equipment could be used against us,” Starks said. in a statement. “We also downplay the possibility that we will have to disassemble and replace that equipment in the future. Ultimately, if it’s not licensed, it can’t be deployed.”

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