US Politics

Group of Senators Seeks to Ensure Huawei Barred From Energy System

WASHINGTON—Six senators, including five Republicans and Maine independent Sen. Angus King, arent satisfied that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) understands and is adequately prepared to respond aggressively to the threat represented by Huawei to U.S. energy infrastructure.

“We write today to get assurances from you that [FERC] fully appreciates the threat posed to the nations energy infrastructure by the use of equipment manufactured by Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. (Huawei),” the senators told commission Chairman Neil Chatterjee in a Dec. 4 letter.

“Creating a new cybersecurity division within your agency is a good start. We are hopeful that one of the new divisions first objectives will be to defend this infrastructure against the threats posed by the use of equipment manufactured by Huawei.”

In addition to King, the signers include Republican Sens. John Cornyn of Texas, Susan Collins of Maine, Marco Rubio of Florida, James Risch of Idaho, and Tom Cotton of Arkansas.

Rubio and Cotton, in particular, have been forceful advocates in the Senate for active measures by the federal government against Huawei, the digital telecommunications giant that is effectively controlled by the Chinese regime.

Huawei and its many subsidiaries in multiple countries around the world have sold billions of dollars of digital equipment to governments and corporations. National security experts contend that gives China surveillance and access capabilities to aid the theft of highly sensitive U.S. technology, military strategies and planning, and national systems such as energy infrastructure.

Huawei components also are used by numerous manufacturers of digital equipment that is bought in the United States, adding to experts concerns that current counter-measures may not be sufficient.

Earlier this year, the Department of Commerce put Huawei on a blacklist that requires suppliers here linked to the Chinese firm to apply for special licenses.

But on Dec. 4, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Huawei is encouraging such companies doing business with it to move operations off-shore to evade the blacklist.

Huawei has “been openly advocating companies to move their production offshore to get around the fact that we put Huawei on the list,” Ross said. “Anybody who does move the product out specifically to avoid the sanction … thats a violation of U.S. law. So here, you have Huawei encouraging American suppliers to violate the law.”

The senators told Chatterjee, “As you know, the intelligence community has issued repeated warnings to regulators and political leaders about the dangers associated with using Huawei equipment on the nations telecommunications network.”

Federal officials are moving against Huawei because of “concerns with the companys links to the Chinese Communist Party, including its intelligRead More – Source

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