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 CottonCotton warns China: Crackdown on Hong Kong would be 'grave miscalculation' Congress must address gender gap in nominations to military service academies GOP senators press Google on reports it developed a smart speaker with Huawei MORE (R-Ark.) and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioTrump moves forward with F-16 sale to Taiwan opposed by China The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy Trump crosses new line with Omar, Tlaib, Israel move 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 ConawayTexas faces turbulent political moment Democratic Party official: Texas is 'biggest battleground state in the country' Another Texas congressman planning to retire MORE (R-Texas) and Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyDick Cheney to attend fundraiser supporting Trump reelection: report Steve King says 'left-wing media' and GOP leadership owe him apology after rape, incest comments GOP memo deflects some gun questions to 'violence from the left' 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.