WASHINGTON, DC – United States lawmakers have been worried for a long time about the connection of the Chinese government and Chinese companies, and Mike Conaway’s bill seems to be the answer.
There have been some security risks in between the ties of the country’s government and Chinese companies ZTE and Huawei, and it has concerned US lawmakers. Because of that, Mike Conaway, the Texas Representative, proposed a bill on a communications act that would defend the US government. The bill aims to ban all agencies of the US government from using phones and other equipment from both companies.
The Texas Representative’s bill will forbid the US government from buying and using telecommunication devices as well as services that are offered by both ZTE and Huawei. In Conaway’s site, he made a statement saying that the technology coming from China somehow poses a threat to the national security. He added that using equipment from China invites the possibility of the country’s surveillance in every aspect of lives.
Conaway also cited some US Intelligence and other counterintelligence officials who said Huawei, in particular, had shared valuable information with their state leaders. According to the Texas Representative, the growth of the business of these Chinese companies in the US also represents an even further risk to the country’s security.
Mike Conaway’s bill is another bump to Huawei. Just last week, the Chinese tech giant had a major headache after the collapse of their partnership with AT&T. It even prompted the company’s CEO to slide off the script during the presentation in the CES 2018.
The collaboration between the two companies allowed Huawei to sell its flagship Mate 10 Pro smartphone around the US with the help of AT&T. However, the deal between them has sparked unwanted investigation from the US lawmakers who were behind the letter of concern in December that was sent to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Mike Conaway’s bill is just a part of an even bigger trend of the government’s concern about a lot of software and hardware built by foreign companies. The summer of last year, six of the major US intelligence agencies told their concerns about the Kaspersky Lab security products to the Senate Intelligence Committee. In the UK, their Cyber Security Centre also issued some guidelines about products from Russian companies because of their concern about Russian government connections.
It has been a long time that US lawmakers voiced their concerns about ZTE and Huawei, and Mike Conaway’s bill is among the first move in the issue.
In 2010, four of the US senators told their concerns in the FCC regarding the alleged connection of the Chinese government and companies. The next year, in 2011, both ZTE and Huawei were the subject of a report made by the Intelligence Permanent Select Committee from the House of Representatives. It recommends prohibiting the US government from purchasing ZTE and Huawei products.
However, the Congressional report about the issue in 2011 wasn’t able to provide direct evidence that Huawei is compromised. It only stated that the company failed to provide any evidence that can satisfy having a full and fair investigation.
Nevertheless, Mike Conaway’s bill is trying to shut down any risk and compromise for the country’s security which is quite a problem for both major tech players.