US FCC bans China Unicom Americas telecom over national security risks

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) revoked the license for the China Unicom Americas over serious national security concerns.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has revoked the license for China Unicom Americas over “serious national security concerns.” China Unicom is the world’s sixth-largest mobile service provider by subscriber base.

The telecom company is a foreign subsidiary of Chinese state-owned telecom company China Unicom that operated in tens of countries.

The Chinese telecom company was banned from providing telecommunication services within the United States. According to the FCC’s order, the Chinese company has to stop providing its services in the US within 60 days.

“First, the Order finds that China Unicom Americas, a U.S. subsidiary of a Chinese stateowned enterprise, is subject to exploitation, influence, and control by the Chinese government and is highly likely to be forced to comply with Chinese government requests without sufficient legal procedures subject to independent judicial oversight.” reads the order. “Second, given the changed national security environment with respect to China since the Commission authorized China UnicomAmericas to provide telecommunications services in the United States two decades ago, the Order finds that China Unicom Americas’ ownership and control by the Chinese government raise significant national security and law enforcement risks by providing opportunities for China Unicom Americas, its parent entities, and the Chinese government to access, store, disrupt, and/or misroute U.S. communications, which in turn allow them to engage in espionage and other harmful activities against the United States.”

The FCC’s order speculates the Chinese telco’s conduct threatens the level of trust that the Commission and other U.S. government agencies required for critical infrastructure operators, such as telecommunications carriers.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, China)

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Pierluigi Paganini: Pierluigi Paganini is member of the ENISA (European Union Agency for Network and Information Security) Threat Landscape Stakeholder Group and Cyber G7 Group, he is also a Security Evangelist, Security Analyst and Freelance Writer. Editor-in-Chief at "Cyber Defense Magazine", Pierluigi is a cyber security expert with over 20 years experience in the field, he is Certified Ethical Hacker at EC Council in London. The passion for writing and a strong belief that security is founded on sharing and awareness led Pierluigi to find the security blog "Security Affairs" recently named a Top National Security Resource for US. Pierluigi is a member of the "The Hacker News" team and he is a writer for some major publications in the field such as Cyber War Zone, ICTTF, Infosec Island, Infosec Institute, The Hacker News Magazine and for many other Security magazines. Author of the Books "The Deep Dark Web" and “Digital Virtual Currency and Bitcoin”.

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