FCC bans import, sale of certain Chinese tech over 'unacceptable risk to national security’

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(The Hill) — The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has banned the import and sale of certain Chinese technology equipment that it determined poses “an unacceptable risk to national security.” 

FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr said in a statement on Twitter that the commission’s unanimous decision is the first time in U.S. history that it has voted to prohibit the authorization of equipment based on national security concerns. 

He said the order bars equipment from the Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE from approval, and equipment from Dahua, Hikvision and Hytera can be approved for import and sale only if they assure the FCC that their equipment won’t be used for public safety, security of government facilities or other national security purposes. 

Carr said the FCC’s decision also gives the commission the power to revoke existing authorizations for other equipment. 

“While we do not exercise that revocation authority in this order, I hope that we soon will, and I look forward to working with my FCC colleagues on achieving that result,” he said. 

Carr said he originally called for the FCC to take this action last year to close the “Huawei loophole,” which allowed for “insecure” gear to continue to be approved for use in the United States by the FCC despite the national security concerns. 

The news from the FCC comes after controversy arose last year surrounding the social media app TikTok, which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance. TikTok, the video-sharing platform that has been one of the fastest-growing apps in the U.S., has received criticism over its data privacy policies. 

FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a release that the new rules are a part of the commission’s ongoing efforts to protect the American people from national security threats. 

“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,” she said.

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