New Bill Would Prohibit Intelligence Sharing With Countries That Use Huawei


A bill introduced this week by Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) would ban the sharing of intelligence with countries that use Huawei technologies in their fifth generation (5G) networks.

The United States has long expressed concerns that Huawei equipment may contain backdoors that would allow for the Chinese government to conduct espionage operations, and some European countries are sharing the same concerns.

Although Huawei has denied the accusations, the U.S. has banned the use of Huawei products in federal agencies and the Federal Communications Commission in November barred U.S. telecom providers from buying equipment from Huawei and China-based ZTE using government subsidies.

Moreover, President Donald Trump has signed an order that barred companies from using foreign telecoms equipment considered a security risk. Facebook, Google and top research universities also cut their ties to the Chinese telecommunications giant.

The newly introduced legislation (PDF) would prohibit the sharing of “intelligence of or under the control of the United States,” including products of the intelligence community, with countries that allow Huawei to operate 5G networks within their national borders.

“The United States shouldn’t be sharing valuable intelligence information with countries that allow an intelligence-gathering arm of the Chinese Communist Party to operate freely within their borders. I urge our allies around the world to carefully consider the consequences of dealing with Huawei to their national interests,” Senator Cotton said.

Related: US Regulators Bar Govt Telecom Funds for Huawei, ZTE

Related: US Formalizes Ban on Government Contracts to China’s Huawei, Others

Related: Huawei Accuses US of Cyberattacks, Coercing Employees

Related: Huawei’s Czech Unit Secretly Collected Data: Report

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Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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