Republican senators want to bar US government from using ZTE, Huawei devices

Republican senators want to bar US government from using ZTE, Huawei devices

Sens. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonOvernight Defense: Fallout from tense NATO summit | Senators push to block ZTE deal in defense bill | Blackwater founder makes new pitch for mercenaries to run Afghan war Hillicon Valley: DOJ appeals AT&T-Time Warner ruling | FBI agent testifies in heated hearing | Uproar after FCC changes rules on consumer complaints | Broadcom makes bid for another US company | Facebook under fire over conspiracy sites Hillicon Valley: Justice Department appeals AT&T-Time Warner ruling | New report on election security | FBI agent testifies in marathon hearing MORE (R-Ark.) and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioScottish beer company offering ‘tiny cans’ for Trump’s ‘tiny hands’ The Hill's Morning Report — Trump readies for Putin summit: 'He’s not my enemy’ Overnight Defense: Fallout from tense NATO summit | Senators push to block ZTE deal in defense bill | Blackwater founder makes new pitch for mercenaries to run Afghan war MORE (R-Fla.) introduced legislation on Wednesday to prevent the U.S. government from using products from certain Chinese telecommunications firms.

The impetus for Cotton and Rubio’s legislation is concern over the Chinese government using hypothetical backdoors in ZTE and Huawei phones to spy on U.S. government officials.

"Huawei is effectively an arm of the Chinese government, and it's more than capable of stealing information from U.S. officials by hacking its devices," Cotton said in a statement. "There are plenty of other companies that can meet our technology needs, and we shouldn't make it any easier for China to spy on us."

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Reps. Mike ConawayKenneth (Mike) Michael ConawayHuawei: FCC proposal would hurt poor, rural communities Senate panel upholds finding that Russia backed Trump, contradicting House Trump era ramps up tech worker revolt MORE (R-Texas) and Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyHillicon Valley: New FTC chief eyes shake up of tech regulation | Lawmakers target Google, Huawei partnership | Microsoft employees voice anger over ICE contract Lawmakers urge Google to drop partnership with Chinese phone maker Huawei Trump faces criticism for photo with mostly white male lawmakers discussing migrant family separations MORE (R-Wyo.) also have legislation in the House calling for similar measures against Chinese tech.

“We don’t want undisclosed backdoors into our systems,” Conaway told The Hill last month.

“The relationship those companies have with different Chinese intelligence agencies themselves and their government — it’s opaque. We don’t know what is or isn’t there.”

The proposed legislation comes amid a growing push from the U.S. government to cut ties with Chinese telecommunications firms.

Last month, lawmakers reportedly pushed AT&T to nix a plan to offer Huawei devices to customers.

The White House has also blocked multiple attempts by U.S. firms to acquire Chinese telecommunications companies due to national security concerns.