U.S. Bans Chinese Telecom Equipment and Surveillance Cameras Over National Security Risk

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) formally announced it will no longer authorize electronic equipment from Huawei, ZTE, Hytera, Hikvision, and Dahua, deeming them an “unacceptable” national security threat.

All these Chinese telecom and video surveillance companies were previously included in the Covered List as of March 12, 2021.

“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,” FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a Friday order.

“These new rules are an important part of our ongoing actions to protect the American people from national security threats involving telecommunications.”

Pursuant to the ban, Hytera, Hikvision, and Dahua are required to document the safeguards the firms are putting in place on the sale of their devices for government use and surveillance of critical infrastructure facilities.

The development comes over two months after the regulator moved to add Pacific Network Corp and China Unicom (Americas) to the Covered List in an effort to curtail the reach of Chinese state-owned carriers in U.S. networks.

It’s not just the U.S. The U.K., in a similar move, has banned the installation of visual surveillance systems procured from China on “sensitive” government sites.

“Departments have been advised that no such equipment should be connected to departmental core networks and that they should consider whether they should remove and replace such equipment where it is deployed on sensitive sites rather than awaiting any scheduled upgrades,” the government said.

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