President Donald Trump’s administration has told the Federal Communications Commission that China Telecom’s authorizations to operate in the U.S. should be revoked following a national security review.
“Today, more than ever, the life of the nation and its people runs on our telecommunications networks,” John Demers, assistant attorney general for national security, said in a statement, according to Broadcasting & Cable. “The security of our government and professional communications, as well as of our most private data, depends on our use of trusted partners from nations that share our values and our aspirations for humanity. Today’s action is but our next step in ensuring the integrity of America’s telecommunications systems.”
The recommendation cites concerns that China Telecom may be influenced or controlled by the Chinese government, which the administration found has ramped up its malicious cybersecurity activities since the authorizations for China Telecom were first transferred in 2007.
The report also cites: "Inaccurate statements by China Telecom to U.S. government authorities about where China Telecom stored its U.S. records, raising questions about who has access to those records; Inaccurate public representations by China Telecom concerning its cybersecurity practices, which raise questions about China Telecom’s compliance with federal and state cybersecurity and privacy laws; and The nature of China Telecom’s U.S. operations, which provide opportunities for PRC state-actors to engage in malicious cyber activity enabling economic espionage and disruption and misrouting of U.S. communications."
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