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FCC proposal aims to deter US carriers from buying wireless gear from ZTE and Huawei

By Polycount · 7 replies
Mar 26, 2018
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  1. It seems the US government's efforts to keep Chinese companies from spying on American citizens are continuing. In January, Verizon dropped Chinese phone maker Huawei's devices from their line-up following government pressure.

    Later in February, we reported six intelligence chiefs warned US residents not to purchase devices from either Huawei or ZTE due to alleged close ties to the country's government.

    Now, it seems the FCC will be following those officials' lead. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal last week, the FCC was considering rolling out a plan to dissuade US wireless providers from acquiring equipment made and sold by companies like Huawei and ZTE.

    FCC Chairman Ajit Pai issued a statement today seemingly confirming The Wall Street Journal's findings, though he did not name Huawei and ZTE specifically. The following statement excerpt offers a few details on Pai's proposal:

    Specifically, the draft Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, if adopted, would propose to bar the use of money from the FCC’s Universal Service Fund to purchase equipment or services from companies that pose a national security threat to United States communications networks or the communications supply chain.

    "Threats to national security posed by certain communications equipment providers are a matter of bipartisan concern," Pai said in a statement. "Hidden ‘back doors’ to our networks in routers, switches—and virtually any other type of telecommunications equipment—can provide an avenue for hostile governments to inject viruses, launch denial-of-service attacks, steal data, and more."

    Pai recognizes, however, that the FCC's efforts are but one small part of a bigger picture - they won't be able to stop Chinese companies from allegedly jeopardizing the US' national security alone. However, Pai believes the upcoming proposal is an important first step in the right direction.

    "The money in the Universal Service Fund comes from fees paid by the American people, and I believe that the FCC has the responsibility to ensure that this money is not spent on equipment or services that pose a threat to national security," Pai adds. The vote on these new restrictions is expected to take place on April 17.

    Permalink to story.

  2. OutlawCecil

    OutlawCecil TS Evangelist Posts: 696   +500

    Seems to be the direction our government is going... Lets ban Americans from affordable options based on lack of proof of anything. No testing needed right?
    Tanstar likes this.
  3. David Belkin

    David Belkin TS Enthusiast Posts: 51   +44

    US government's decision to boycott Chinese brands has absolutely nothing to do with alleged spying, but 100% to do with political motives and attempting to jack up public suspicion against all things Chinese and so doing, aiming to get the public to support an eventual war with China. US has been doing this for decades.
    Irony is, it's the US government that's been proven to spy not only on its own people, but on the entire world, including some very prominent world leaders, including the German chancellor.
    bmw95 likes this.
  4. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 3,160   +1,413

    Last edited: Mar 26, 2018
  5. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 4,099   +3,655

    I thought Ajit Pai was all about the free market? I guess that's only when it comes to who's handing him money.

    If the government want to protect American citizens from spying they would impose data protection laws on all smart phones. It's not like Apple and Samsung devices aren't also made in China.
    Tanstar likes this.
  6. hqxt1964

    hqxt1964 TS Enthusiast Posts: 57   +18

    The standard is: whether right or wrong, only see if it is good for you.In so doing, the United States will become a“ rogue nation”.
  7. Danny101

    Danny101 TS Guru Posts: 824   +324

    China has the most robust spying apparatus against it's own citizens including a citizen credit rating. It stands to reason to conclude that their products sold worldwide would include extensions of that system.
  8. Impudicus

    Impudicus TS Addict Posts: 149   +116

    Has anything been actually found on these phones? Any actual evidence of government spying? Are they going to ban all electronics from china? Do American companies with close ties to the American government have hidden back doors to cell phone devices?

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