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Time to Rid the World of China's Trojan Horse Communications Gear

Austin Bay on

The U.S. is once again aggressively banning Chinese-manufactured digital communications equipment.

Let us all be thankful.

On Dec. 2 the Federal Communications Commission expanded and toughened its ban on the "sale and import" of Chinese technology manufactured by firms the FCC determined present an "unacceptable risk" to U.S. national security. The firms include Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corporation.

The FCC's decision implements the Secure Equipment Act of 2021 President Joe Biden signed in November 2021. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., sponsored the legislation. The legislation continued important elements of the Trump administration's Clean Networks initiative.

The facts are clear and should disturb Americans who understand the systemic threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party dictatorship.

For two decades we've had evidence that equipment manufactured by several Chinese corporations are potentially "dual use" systems.

 

At one level their equipment does what it's supposed to do: connects communications systems like phones and computers. However, the systems have "backdoors" that give Chinese spies access to steal classified government secrets and your personal email.

Conceivably, the Chinese systems are offensive weapons: Trojan horses with intercontinental power. The CCP could use these pseudo-civilian systems to launch a cyber-Pearl Harbor attack on an adversary possessing them. The attack could damage the adversary's economy (e.g., shut down banking). If executed quickly and pervasively, the sneak attack could disrupt military communications channels and disable high-tech sensors.

Dual use technology isn't new but camouflaging it in civilian communications garb is a dangerous wrinkle. During the Cold War, "dual-use" meant a system could deliver conventional (non-nuclear) or nuclear weapons. The Cold War's B-52 bomber was built to strike the Soviet Union with nuclear weapons but has spent its long career dropping conventional bombs.

In the Cold War sense, almost any aircraft, missile or vehicle could be "dual use," but the explosion would reveal its military purpose.

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