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: Intel chief creates new election security position | Privacy groups want role in new tech task force | Republicans urge Trump not to delay Pentagon cloud contract Advocates urge senators to work with consumer groups on privacy law Hillicon Valley: Trump seeks review of Pentagon cloud-computing contract | FTC weighs updating kids' internet privacy rules | Schumer calls for FaceApp probe | Report says states need more money to secure elections 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 TrumpUS-Saudi Arabia policy needs a dose of 'realpolitik' Trump talks to Swedish leader about rapper A$AP Rocky, offers to vouch for his bail Matt Gaetz ahead of Mueller hearing: 'We are going to reelect the president' 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 GrahamUS-Saudi Arabia policy needs a dose of 'realpolitik' Media cried wolf: Calling every Republican a racist lost its bite Rubio criticizes reporters, Democrat for racism accusations against McCain 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 RubioUS-Saudi Arabia policy needs a dose of 'realpolitik' Media cried wolf: Calling every Republican a racist lost its bite Rubio criticizes reporters, Democrat for racism accusations against McCain 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 SchumerTop Democrats demand security assessment of Trump properties Lawmakers pay tribute to late Justice Stevens Trump administration denies temporary immigrant status to Venezuelans in US 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."