GOP senators warn Microsoft of 'urgent' threat from Huawei

GOP senators warn Microsoft of 'urgent' threat from Huawei
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Five Republican senators sent a letter to Microsoft on Tuesday stressing that Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei poses a “real and urgent” threat after an executive at the American tech giant complained the U.S. hasn't been open about why Huawei was blacklisted.

The letter from GOP Sens. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonGOP rep introduces bill to block intelligence sharing with countries using Huawei for 5G Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers say Facebook deepfake ban falls short | House passes bills to win 5G race | Feds sound alarm on cyberthreat from Iran | Ivanka Trump appearance at tech show sparks backlash Cotton introduces bill blocking intel sharing with countries relying on Huawei for 5G MORE (Ark.), Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioApple under pressure to unlock Pensacola shooter's phones Senators offer bill to create alternatives to Huawei in 5G tech Surging Sanders draws fresh scrutiny ahead of debate MORE (Fla.), Rick Scott (Fla.), Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyHow Citizens United altered America's political landscape Hawley expects McConnell's final impeachment resolution to give White House defense ability to motion to dismiss Biden calls for revoking key online legal protection MORE (Mo.) and Mike BraunMichael BraunSenate Republicans muscle through rules for Trump trial Impeachment trial begins with furor over rules Senators are politicians, not jurors — they should act like it MORE (Ind.) to Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith details several allegations of “espionage activities” and “technology theft and economic warfare."

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President TrumpDonald John TrumpRouhani says Iran will never seek nuclear weapons Trump downplays seriousness of injuries in Iran attack after US soldiers treated for concussions Trump says Bloomberg is 'wasting his money' on 2020 campaign MORE in May directed the Commerce Department to place Huawei on its "Entity List." U.S. companies are forbidden from doing business with firms on the list, but the government has granted Huawei multiple "general temporary licenses" since.  

The U.S. has long considered Huawei a national security threat because of its deep connections to the Chinese government.

Smith last month in an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek said that Microsoft has asked U.S. regulators to explain the decision to blacklist Huawei multiple times.

“Oftentimes, what we get in response is, ‘Well, if you knew what we knew, you would agree with us,’” Smith said. “And our answer is, ‘Great, show us what you know so we can decide for ourselves. That’s the way this country works.’”

In their letter Monday, the senators said that publicly available information is enough to prove Huawei should be reprimanded.

“We also understand that many American companies have conducted business in good faith with Huawei and other Chinese telecommunications companies," they wrote.

"While the U.S. government and American industry must take certain steps to protect our people and our telecommunications infrastructure, we do not want to cause undue harm to those American companies. We believe, however, that a review of publicly available evidence indicates that the security concerns about Huawei are real and urgent.”