There's no Huawei back now: Biden signs law that forbids US buyers acquiring kit on naughty list

FCC Commissioner said the act closes the 'Huawei loophole'


US President Joe Biden signed The Secure Equipment Act on Thursday. The legislation prevents US regulators from even considering the issuance of new telecom equipment licenses for companies deemed security threats – which means the likes of China's Huawei and ZTE.

In October, the legislation was unanimously approved by the US Senate, while the House of Representatives passed it on a 420-4 vote.

According to the White House, the law, H.R. 3919, "requires the Federal Communications Commission to adopt rules clarifying that it will no longer review or approve any authorization application for equipment that poses an unacceptable risk to national security."

Unfortunately for Huawei, ZTE Corp and other Chinese tech companies, the bill itself specifies that this includes equipment that is listed in the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act of 2019.

The Secure Networks Act became law in March 2020 following concerns that 5G networks powered by Chinese kit could include backdoors inserted at Beijing’s behest. Skeptics pointed out that the law also gives American vendors a leg up by removing Huawei as a competitor.

The FCC has offered reimbursements to small and medium sized companies who want to rip out and replace Huawei and ZTE networking equipment.

According to FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr, his organization has approved over 3,000 applications from Huawei since 2018 – some after the 2019 executive order barring the company from many US operations.

When the bill passed the Senate, Carr said [PDF] that the legislation "will help to ensure that insecure gear from companies like Huawei and ZTE can no longer be inserted into America’s communications networks," adding: "We have already determined that this gear poses an unacceptable risk to our national security, so closing what I have called the 'Huawei loophole' is an appropriate action for us to take."

China is mightily miffed that the USA has barred Huawei, one reason relations between the two nations are currently frosty.

However, presidents Biden and Xi are scheduled to meet on Monday at a virtual summit.

"This is part of our ongoing efforts to responsibly manage the competition between our countries," principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said of the summit last week. ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • Ex-Qualcomm Snapdragon chief turns CEO at AI chip startup MemryX

    Meet the new boss

    A former executive leading Qualcomm's Snapdragon computing platforms has departed the company to become CEO at an AI chip startup.

    Keith Kressin will lead product commercialization for MemryX, which was founded in 2019 and makes memory-intensive AI chiplets.

    The company is now out of stealth mode and will soon commercially ship its AI chips to non-tech customers. The company was testing early generations of its chips with industries including auto and robotics.

    Continue reading
  • Aircraft can't land safely due to interference with upcoming 5G C-band broadband service

    Expect flight delays and diversions, US Federal Aviation Administation warns

    The new 5G C-band wireless broadband service expected to rollout on 5 January 2022 in the US will disrupt local radio signals and make it difficult for airplanes to land safely in harsh weather conditions, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

    Pilots rely on radio altimeter readings to figure out when and where an aircraft should carry out a series of operations to prepare for touchdown. But the upcoming 5G C-band service beaming from cell towers threatens to interfere with these signals, the FAA warned in two reports.

    Flights may have to be delayed or restricted at certain airports as the new broadband service comes into effect next year. The change could affect some 6,834 airplanes and 1,828 helicopters. The cost to operators is expected to be $580,890.

    Continue reading
  • Canadian charged with running ransomware attack on US state of Alaska

    Cross-border op nabbed our man, boast cops and prosecutors

    A Canadian man is accused of masterminding ransomware attacks that caused "damage" to systems belonging to the US state of Alaska.

    A federal indictment against Matthew Philbert, 31, of Ottawa, was unsealed yesterday, and he was also concurrently charged by the Canadian authorities with a number of other criminal offences at the same time. US prosecutors [PDF] claimed he carried out "cyber related offences" – including a specific 2018 attack on a computer in Alaska.

    The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported that Philbert was charged after a 23 month investigation "that also involved the [Royal Canadian Mounted Police, federal enforcers], the FBI and Europol."

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021