The crackdown on telecoms gear from Huawei and other Chinese companies in federal networks will not apply to US Department of Defense, at least for a few more weeks.
Under Section 889 of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, US agencies and the contractors they employ were supposed to stop having any dealings with five Chinese companies – Huawei, ZTE, Hytera, Hikvision, and Dahu – by August 13.
But a report from Defense News cites an internal Pentagon memo in claiming that the Department of Defense has been granted a short-term waiver from the blockade until September 30.
The Pentagon did not respond to a request for comment.
In 2018, the US government shunned Huawei gear, citing concerns that the telco's close relationship with the Chinese government could lead it to equip its hardware with backdoors that would allow Beijing to eavesdrop on top-secret communications.
In 2019, that crackdown was extended to all US networks, again on the grounds that the use of Huawei gear would pose a serious threat to national security.
Huawei has routinely rejected these claims, saying its products are perfectly safe to use both in enterprise and government networks, that it doesn't install backdoors for the Middle Kingdom, and the ban is just political maneuvering by the Trump administration.
That hasn't however, stopped the US and other nations from excluding Huawei from their 5G networks. ®