$1B to help telecom carriers to “rip and replace” Huawei and ZTE equipment

Pierluigi Paganini March 02, 2020

US Congress passed legislation offering $1 billion to help telecom carriers “rip and replace” equipment from Chinese giants Huawei and ZTE.

On Thursday, US lawmakers have passed legislation that plans to give $1 billion to telecom carriers to “rip and replace” equipment from Chinese tech giants Huawei and ZTE.

The measure approved by the Senate is now passed to the White House for the final signature from President Donald Trump.

The bill also prohibits the spending of federal funds for the purchase or maintenance of telecom equipment from “untrusted” suppliers.

To bill remarks that the equipment from the Chinese companies poses a national security risk for firms with fewer than two million customers.

“Telecommunications equipment from certain foreign adversaries poses a significant threat to our national security, economic prosperity, and the future of US leadership in advanced wireless technology,” said Senator Roger Wicker.

“By establishing a ‘rip and replace’ program, this legislation will provide meaningful safeguards for our communications networks and more secure connections for Americans.”

In February, the United States Department of Justice officially charged 4 members of China’s PLA’s 54th Research Institute, a division of the Chinese military, with hacking into credit reporting agency Equifax.

The four members of the Chinese military unit are Wu Zhiyong (吴志勇), Wang Qian (王乾), Xu Ke (许可) and Liu Lei (刘磊), the DoJ’s indictment also states that they have stolen corporate intellectual property (IP) from the company.

A few weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. officials say Huawei can covertly access telecom networks where its equipment is installed.

“U.S. officials say Huawei Technologies Co. can covertly access mobile-phone networks around the world through “back doors” designed for use by law enforcement, as Washington tries to persuade allies to exclude the Chinese company from their networks.” states The Wall Street Journal.

“Intelligence shows Huawei has had this secret capability for more than a decade, U.S. officials said. Huawei rejected the allegations.”

After The Wall Street Journal quoted him as one of the officials that are accusing Huawei, the U.S. national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, made the statement at an Atlantic Council forum.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, Huawei)

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