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 CottonZuckerberg defends meetings with conservative politicians, pundits Bipartisan senators want federal plan for sharing more info on supply chain threats On The Money: Fed officials saw rising risk of recession | Ocasio-Cortez, Cruz blast NBA for 'outrageous' response to China | Prospects dim for trade breakthrough with China MORE (R-Ark.) and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioHillicon Valley: Warren turns up heat in battle with Facebook | Instagram unveils new data privacy feature | Advocacy group seeks funding to write about Big Tech TikTok adds former lawmakers to help develop content moderation policies This week: Congress returns to chaotic Washington 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."

ADVERTISEMENT

Reps. Mike ConawayKenneth (Mike) Michael ConawayIntelligence watchdog huddles with members as impeachment push grows What's causing the congressional 'Texodus'? Here are the lawmakers who aren't seeking reelection in 2020 MORE (R-Texas) and Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Hunter Biden speaks out amid Ukraine controversy Fury over Trump Syria decision grows George Conway hits Republicans for not saying Trump's name while criticizing policy 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.