Bipartisan bill will close “Huawei” loophole and combat national security threats posed by risky Chinese entities
WASHINGTON – China Tech Threat Co-Founder Dr. Roslyn Layton today issued the below statement following President Biden signing into law the Secure Equipment Act of 2021. China Tech Threat has been a leading advocate to ensure the “Covered List” of vulnerable equipment vendors is current and relevant. China Tech Threat and more than 20 bipartisan organizations issued a letter to House and Senate leaders applauding the swift passage of this critical legislation.
“The Secure Equipment Act becoming law is an important step in bolstering the privacy and security of all Americans as the threat of malicious Chinese technology devices deployed in American homes, schools, and workplaces continues to escalate,” said China Tech Threat Co-Founder Dr. Roslyn Layton. “Coming on the heels of the FCC’s recent action to make dronemaker DJI the next focus on the Covered List for its ties to China, we commend Senators Marco and Markey and Representatives Eshoo and Scalise for their leadership to eliminate PRC devices which pose an unacceptable risk to national security, and to stop the exploitation of US laws by untrustworthy PRC entities.”
The bipartisan Secure Equipment Act of 2021, sponsored by U.S. Senators Marco Rubio and Ed Markey and Representatives Anna Eshoo and Steve Scalise, empowers the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to restrict equipment authorization to companies – such as the People’s Republic of China (PRC) state-backed firms Huawei and ZTE – on the agency’s “Covered Equipment or Services List.”
President Biden’s signature on the bill comes as the FCC undergoes a process to restrict equipment authorizations from companies on the agency’s Covered List, which currently includes Huawei Technologies, ZTE, Hytera Communications, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology and Dahua Technology, that pose unacceptable risk to U.S. national security through the 2019 Secure and Trusted Networks Act.
China Tech Threat has participated in the FCC rulemaking process and has raised awareness of the importance of the issue before Congress:
- In September, China Tech Threat and BluePath Labs filed joint comments with the FCC advising the agency on how to ensure the Covered List of vulnerable equipment vendors is current and relevant. The comments name two specific companies, Lenovo and YMTC which should already be on the FCC’s Covered List given that the relevant federal agencies have already identified them as national security risks.
- On October 18, CTT filed reply comments in the FCC’s Covered List proceeding. The comments highlighted the fact that “equipment authorization is a privilege, not a right, for entities which uphold the laws of the US” and that the proposed regulation will open the playing field for lawful equipment providers.
- On October 20, China Tech Threat hosted a virtual panel, Unacceptable Risk: Expanding the FCC’s Covered List to Reflect Reality” which featured FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr who called for the addition of DJI to the FCC’s Covered List, calling the dronemaker a “Huawei on wings.”
- On October 29, China Tech Threat and more than 20 bipartisan organizations issues a letter to House and Senate leaders applauding the swift passage of this critical legislation.