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Carr welcomes executive branch recommendation to revoke China telecom’s authority

Posted by FCC

The Department of Justice announced that Executive Branch agencies with national security expertise unanimously recommended that the FCC revoke and terminate China Telecom’s authority to carry telecom traffic to and from the United States.  China Telecom is the U.S. subsidiary of a People’s Republic of China (PRC) state-owned telecom company.

In announcing this recommendation, the Justice Department stated that the Executive Branch agencies identified substantial and unacceptable national security and law enforcement risks associated with China Telecom’s operations, which render the FCC authorizations inconsistent with the public interest.

Last year, Commissioner Carr encouraged the national security agencies to examine China Telecom and to recommend whether the FCC should revoke its authority to operate in the U.S.  The views expressed by these national security officials can help provide the legal basis for the FCC to take action.

“It is time to reconsider our relationship with companies owned or controlled by the People’s Republic of China,” Carr said.

“Years ago, the FCC authorized China Telecom to connect their facilities to networks here in the U.S.  A lot has changed since that authorization, though it continues to allow China Telecom to carry network traffic that originates in the U.S.  I have encouraged the national security agencies to examine the threats posed by China Telecom’s network access, and I welcome the Executive Branch agencies’ recommendation that we revoke and terminate China Telecom’s authority,” Carr stated.

“There is substantial evidence that the Chinese government intends to surveil persons within our borders, either for economic or intelligence advantages.  And as the Justice Department’s announcement states, China Telecom’s operations provide opportunities for PRC state-actors to engage in malicious cyber activity enabling economic espionage and disruption and misrouting of U.S. communications.  Indeed, there is evidence that China Telecom has hijacked traffic in the U.S. and routed it through China before delivering it to destinations back in America,” Carr added.

“I look forward to working with my FCC colleagues to act on this recommendation and to further secure America’s networks from bad actors that would do us harm,” Carr said.

―CT Bureau

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