Huawei and ZTE cannot be trusted: US Attorney General

DHARAMSALA, 15 Nov: The US Attorney General William Barr has said that Chinese technology giants Huawei and ZTE “cannot be trusted.”

Barr has made the remarks in a letter he wrote to Federal Communications Commission(FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai on Wednesday as he backed FCC’s draft Report and Order that banned the two companies in the US as a national security threat.

“We should not signal that Huawei and ZTE are anything other than a threat to our collective security, for that is exactly what they, through their actions, have shown themselves to be,” Reuters quoted him as saying in the letter.

The FCC will vote on22 Nov. and is proposing requiring the carriers to remove and replace equipment from the companies.

The US Attorney General has also stressed on how the federal prosecutors have charged Huawei with violations of the U.S. embargo on Iran, bank fraud, obstruction of justice and trade secret theft while ZTE has pleaded guilty in 2017 for illegally sending approximately $32 million in U.S. goods to Iran.

The move, the report noted was the latest U.S. action aimed at barring U.S. companies from purchasing Huawei and ZTE equipment.

Meanwhile, the FCC Chairman has said that the commission “cannot ignore the risk that the Chinese government will seek to exploit network vulnerabilities in order to engage in espionage, insert malware and viruses, and otherwise compromise our critical communications networks,” the report concluded.

While Huawei is said to have close links with the Chinese military, as its founder Ren Zhengfei was a former officer at the People’s Liberation Army, ZTE has already been identified as a ‘potential risk to the national security’ by the US, Britain and Australia among others. 

Huawei made it to the US’ economic blacklist in May earlier this year owing to the threat it poses to the US’ national security.

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