Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and Marco Rubio (R-Florida) on Wednesday introduced the Defending U.S. Government Communications Act, legislation that would prohibit the United States government from purchasing or leasing telecommunications equipment and/or services from Huawei, ZTE, or any subsidiaries or affiliates.
According to the senators, the Chinese government could effectively spy on the U.S. government through the telecommunications companies.
“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,” said Cotton. “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” he added.
“Chinese telecom companies, like Huawei, are directly linked to the Chinese government and communist party. For national security reasons, we cannot allow a foreign adversary to embed their technology in U.S. government systems or critical infrastructure” said Rubio.
Congressman Mike Conaway (Texas-11) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives last month.