Congressional panel warns of national security threat from Chinese tech

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A congressional advisory panel warned that internet-linked electronics manufactured in China could pose a national security threat to the United States.

The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission on Tuesday explained the dangers of having the U.S.’s public and private sectors rely on supply-chains linked to China.

{mosads}China is the world’s largest information technology product manufacturer, making its reach difficult to avoid. Still, the commission suggested that finding alternate suppliers might be necessary.

“The scale of Chinese state support for the IoT and 5G, the close supply chain integration between the United States and China, and China’s role as an economic and military competitor to the United States create enormous economic, security, supply chain, and data privacy risks for the United States,” the report read.

The report also warned that the rapid pace at which China is building out 5G broadband infrastructure compared to the U.S. could exacerbate the threat by making internet data-enabled products, or internet of things, more open to potential attacks.

“The rapid proliferation of unsecure IoT devices is increasing the avenues Chinese actors could exploit to deny service, collect intelligence, or launch a cyber attack,” it reads. “The large amount of data collected by the ever growing number of IoT devices, the value of such data to criminal and state actors such as China, and lax U.S. security and legal protections are worsening privacy, safety, and security risks for U.S. citizens, businesses, and democracy.”

The growing threat of Chinese technology has been a concern for both Democrats and Republicans in office. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, as government agencies have pursued policies to keep Chinese technology out of the government and military.

Their focus has been on telecommunications companies including ZTE and Huawei who have been expanding their 5G networks around the world, however many American technology companies, including some that work with the government, U.S. technology at least partially manufactured in China.

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