Blackburn says China building 'spy network' through Huawei technology

Blackburn says China building 'spy network' through Huawei technology
© Greg Nash

Sen. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnHillicon Valley: House passes anti-robocall bill | Senators inch forward on privacy legislation | Trump escalates fight over tech tax | Illinois families sue TikTok | Senators get classified briefing on ransomware Senators inch forward on federal privacy bill Director of National Intelligence Maguire should stand for the whistleblower MORE (R-Tenn.) on Sunday accused China of building a “spy network” through the use of telecommunications group Huawei around the world and said it would be dangerous to allow Huawei access to U.S. fifth generation (5G) wireless networks. 

“We do not need to let Huawei get into building out these 5G networks, not for us and not for any of our allies because of the dangers there,” Blackburn said while appearing on Fox News’s "Sunday Morning Futures."  

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She added, “China is building a spy network, they want to win the cyber war, and what we have to do is continue to say to them, you cannot empower Huawei, which is state-run, regardless of what they say, we know it is state-run, and it is their mechanism for spying.” 

Huawei has been in the spotlight over the past few months after the Commerce Department added the company to its “entity list” in May, citing national security concerns. U.S. companies are banned from doing business with companies included on that list.

The agency put in place a 90-day extension before Huawei is formally added to the list to allow American companies time to adjust. 

However, that move was thrown into question last week following President TrumpDonald John TrumpStates slashed 4,400 environmental agency jobs in past decade: study Biden hammers Trump over video of world leaders mocking him Iran building hidden arsenal of short-range ballistic missiles in Iraq: report MORE’s announcement at the Group of 20 summit in Japan that he would allow U.S. companies to sell equipment to Huawei. Trump added that "we're talking about equipment where there’s no great national security problem with it.”

This announcement sparked a wave of bipartisan pushback, with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump's legal team huddles with Senate Republicans GOP member urges Graham to subpoena Schiff, Biden phone records Trump legal team gears up for Senate impeachment trial in meeting with GOP senators MORE (R-S.C.) saying that “there will be a lot of pushback” from both sides of the aisle if Huawei is used as a concession in trade talks. 

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioRubio on Chris Pratt water bottle story: 'I too was caught with a single use plastic water bottle' House votes to sanction Chinese officials over treatment of Uighurs Poll: 51 percent of Florida voters disapprove of Trump MORE (R-Fla.) vowed to introduce legislation to keep Huawei on the entity list if Trump removes it, while Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerOvernight Health Care — Presented by Johnson & Johnson — Democrats call on Supreme Court to block Louisiana abortion law | Michigan governor seeks to pause Medicaid work requirements | New front in fight over Medicaid block grants House, Senate Democrats call on Supreme Court to block Louisiana abortion law Why a second Trump term and a Democratic Congress could be a nightmare scenario for the GOP MORE (D-N.Y.) said Trump’s move in favor of Huawei could “dramatically undercut our ability to change China’s unfair trade practices.”

Blackburn on Sunday added to this chorus, saying American companies that continue to sell to Huawei “need to stop that.”

“Huawei is building out a network that is embedded with spyware, and it doesn’t matter if it is financial data, if it is artificial intelligence or autonomous vehicle networks, why would you give them the ability to shut down those networks?" Blackburn said. "So no, let's eliminate them from our networks."