A new executive order, “Securing the Information and Communications Technology and Services Supply Chain,” declares a national emergency regarding the “security, integrity, and reliability of information and communications technology and services provided and used in the United States.” In response, the order bans the import, use, or sale of technology that meets a set of criteria involving vendor ownership and technology, specifically targeting technology from companies owned or controlled by governments defined as hostile to the US. As a result, the order effectively puts a stop to the sale of Huawei telecommunications equipment in the US.
While the executive order doesn’t mention any company or nation by name, it is widely understood to take direct aim at the Chinese telecom giant, owned by a labor union investment trust but generally seen to be under the control of China’s government. In particular, the order comes on the heels of research indicating that Huawei has installed backdoors in critical routers and switches, and fears that equipment sold by the company could be compromised in the event of escalating conflict between the US and China.
In a statement issued after the signing of the executive order, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr said, “President Trump’s decision sends a clear message that the US will do what it takes to secure our communications networks. The Executive Order will help ensure that our foreign adversaries do not compromise the security of our networks or undermine our core values, including our freedom from unlawful surveillance and respect for intellectual property.”
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