House Intel Reports on Chinese Telecommunication Security Threats
By Kevin Doran
October 11, 2012
On Monday, October 8, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) released an investigative report on “U.S. National Security Issues Posed by Chinese Telecommunications Companies Huawei and ZTE.” This report looks into the malicious means, opportunities, and motives by Chinese telecommunication companies, and the threats to the US posed by the company’s equipment.
Following an open hearing on September 13, HPSCI determined that Huawei and ZTE did not cooperate with the investigation. The report determined that Huawei and ZTE did not fully explain their relationship with the Chinese government and business operations. Both telecommunications companies admitted that they do have a Chinese Communist Party Committee within the company -in compliance of Chinese law- but did not explain what the Committee does on behalf of the Party or the extent of support and influence they are receiving. Their corporate history, failure to provide credible documentation, and operations in Iran were conclusive evidence that Huawei, ZTE, and their products were to remain a threat to be avoided by American companies and government agencies.
The report recommended American private-sector entities consider the risks with doing business with these companies and that Chinese companies should reevaluate their transparency policies and compliance with US legal standards. The report also recommends committees in Congress should consider potential legislation to protect and address risks by such telecommunication companies and examine the unfair trade practices of the Chinese telecommunications sector.
Kevin Doran is Congressman Westmoreland's deputy chief of staff and handles intelligence issues.