The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has prohibited the importation or sale of communications equipment made by Huawei and ZTE, due to them posing an “unacceptable risk” to US national security.
The five-member FCC voted unanimously this week to adopt rules that block the importation or sale of communications equipment deemed to pose a national security risk.
Alongside Huawei and ZTE, the list of blocked companies includes Hytera, Hikvision, and Dahua Technology as well as all of their subsidiaries and affiliates.
In a statement(Opens in a new window), FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said: “The FCC is committed to protecting our national security by ensuring that untrustworthy communications equipment is not authorized for use within our borders, and we are continuing that work here.”
She added: “These new rules are an important part of our ongoing actions to protect the American people from national security threats involving telecommunications.”
Brendan Carr, a member of the FCC board tweeted(Opens in a new window): “Our unanimous decision represents the first time in FCC history that we have voted to prohibit the authorization of new equipment based on national security concerns.”
He added: “As a result of our order, no new Huawei or ZTE equipment can be approved. And no new Dahua, Hikvision, or Hytera gear can be approved unless they assure the FCC that their gear won’t be used for public safety, security of government facilities, & other national security purposes.”
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The news comes just a day after the UK announced a ban on Chinese surveillance systems at “sensitive(Opens in a new window)” sites. The restrictions, which affect Hikvision, will prevent authorities from installing technology that is produced by companies subject to China’s National Intelligence Law. The law requires Chinese citizens and organizations to cooperate with the country’s intelligence and security services.
In a statement reported(Opens in a new window) by Reuters, Hikvision slammed the FCC: “This decision by the FCC will do nothing to protect U.S. national security, but will do a great deal to make it more harmful and more expensive for U.S. small businesses, local authorities, school districts, and individual consumers to protect themselves, their homes, businesses and property. The Chinese company added that it will continue to serve American customers “in full compliance” with US regulations.
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