Chinese tech giant, Huawei, has hit back at allegations that it poses a threat to US national security, calling the latest filing by the FCC “arbitrary and capricious”.
The FCC has proposed banning Huawei, ZTE and other international firms that it deems to be a security risk, from accessing the $8.5 billion Universal Service Fund (USF) – a key source of funding for the rollout of 5G and gigabit broadband projects in the US. In April, the FCC proposed banning companies who were based in China and deemed to be a security risk from taking part in any project that had received funding from the USF. Finding itself on such a list would effectively preclude Huawei from being involved in 5G and full fibre rollout in the US.
This week, Huawei filed its response to the FCC, in a strongly worded rebuttal.
“Huawei applauds the Commission’s objectives of protecting the nation’s communications networks and supply chain, but the mechanism by which the Commission aims to do so—i.e., blacklisting a handful of suppliers—is both improper and imprudent for multiple reasons. This proposal exceeds the statutory authority granted to the Commission; is arbitrary and capricious; will cause costs far in excess of any slight benefits; violates constitutional and statutory procedural requirements; and relies on unverified and unsupportable factual allegations. The Commission should not adopt its proposed rule,” read a statement from Huawei.
Huawei rejected the suggestion that it poses a national security risk to the US, in the strongest possible terms. It accused the FCC of prejudice against Huawei, purely and “wholly on the location of its headquarters.”
“The Commission lacks the factual basis to designate Huawei as a “threat” as it clearly intends to do under [the] proposed rule. The Commission does not analyze Huawei’s longstanding commitment to the security of telecommunications networks nor its continued, active participation in improving global cybersecurity standards. Instead, it prejudges Huawei wholly on the location of its headquarters. The Commission provides no evidence that Huawei equipment poses, or has posed, a national security threat and instead relies entirely on unspecified and unverified allegations, primarily a 2012 report from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence that misinterprets an outdated Chinese law no longer in existence,” the statement concluded. – Total Telecom