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Stay away from Huawei, ZTE: US Congress Committee to American cos

PTI Washington | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on October 10, 2012

A US Congressional intelligence committee has advised American companies not to seek the services of or do business with two Chinese telecom giants — Huawei and ZTE — and to find another vendor.

Following an investigative report on the functioning of these two Chinese telecom companies, the Chairman and Ranking members of the House Intelligence Committee respectively Mike Rogers and C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger said that these firms pose national security interest to the United States.

The 60-page report encourages US companies to take into account the long-term security risks associated with either company providing equipment or services to telecommunications infrastructure.

Additionally, the report recommends that US government systems, particularly sensitive systems, exclude Huawei or ZTE equipment or component parts.

“We have to be certain that Chinese telecommunication companies working in the United States can be trusted with access to our critical infrastructure,” Rogers said.

“Any bug, beacon, or backdoor put into our critical systems could allow for a catastrophic and devastating domino effect of failures throughout our networks.

“As this report shows, we have serious concerns about Huawei and ZTE, and their connection to the communist government of China.

“China is known to be the major perpetrator of cyber espionage, and Huawei and ZTE failed to alleviate serious concerns throughout this important investigation. American businesses should use other vendors,” he said.

Ruppersberger added: “As this report shows, we have serious concerns about Huawei and ZTE, two Chinese telecommunications companies looking to gain market share in the US, and their connection to the communist government of China.

“We warn US government agencies and companies considering using Huawei and ZTE equipment in their networks to take into account the affect if could have on our national security.”

The State Department spokesperson, Victoria Nuland, has said that under the Strategic and Economic Dialogue, the US has initiated a cybersecurity conversation with the Chinese government to exchange views and deal with concerns they have on either side.

“The Secretary (of State) said at the time of inaugurating this conversation, as two of the world’s largest cyber actors, it’s vital that the US and China have a sustained, meaningful dialogue on cyberspace issues and work together to develop a shared understanding of acceptable norms of behaviour.

“So that conversation continues bilaterally, and it’s very important to both of us,” Nuland said.

The Congressional committee report recommends that the US government systems, particularly sensitive systems, exclude Huawei or ZTE equipment or component parts.

It highlights interconnectivity of US critical infrastructure systems and warns of the heightened threat of cyber espionage and predatory disruption or destruction of US networks if telecommunications networks are built by companies with known ties to the Chinese state, a country known to aggressively steal valuable trade secrets and other sensitive data from American companies.

The report, that comes after a year-long investigation into the national security dangers posed by Huawei and ZTE, states that the companies provided incomplete, contradictory, and evasive responses to the Committee’s core concerns.

Published on October 10, 2012
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