Tags: NSA/Surveillance | Trump Administration | national security | fcc | ajit pai | telecommunications | broadband

FCC: Block Subsidies for Those Risking National Security

FCC: Block Subsidies for Those Risking National Security
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai (AP)

By    |   Monday, 26 March 2018 03:26 PM

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai has proposed money in a fund meant to subsidize broadband and phone access for low-income households not be used on products from firms that "pose a national security threat to United States communications networks," The Hill reported Monday.

"Although the FCC alone can't safeguard the integrity of our communications supply chain, we must and will play our part in a government- and industry-wide effort to protect the security of our networks," he said.

Pai added "hidden 'back doors' to our networks in routers, switches — and virtually any other type of telecommunications equipment — can provide an avenue for hostile governments to inject viruses, launch denial-of-service attacks, steal data, and more," according to CNET.

Pai, however, did not specify which firms or countries would be banned as part of the proposal, on which the FCC is set to hold an initial vote April 17.

The FCC chairman's remarks come as Republican lawmakers have been pressing for legislation that would stop the government from procuring phones from Chinese firms over concerns they could have cybersecurity weaknesses that could be exploited by Beijing, according to the Hill.

In December, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., spearheaded a letter to Pai urging him to consider national security risks some companies might pose. The White House already blocked several U.S. purchases of Chinese firms on grounds of national security last year.

FCC officials confirmed Republican concerns on the issue, in addition to intelligence briefings on the matter, played a part in Pai's decision to make the proposal.

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FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has proposed banning U.S. government subsidies for companies that threaten national security, according to reports.
national security, fcc, ajit pai, telecommunications, broadband
Monday, 26 March 2018 03:26 PM
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