Request briefing from DoD and FCC on what efforts are underway to remove Huawei infrastructure from U.S. cellular network
WASHINGTON—Today, House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.) and Subcommittee on National Security Ranking Member Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.) are raising concerns that Huawei infrastructure has yet to be removed from the U.S. cellular network despite its threat to national security. In letters to Department of Defense (DoD) Secretary Lloyd Austin and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, the lawmakers are requesting briefings on what efforts are currently underway to remove Huawei technology and threats to cybersecurity.
“The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) recently determined that Huawei equipment installed atop cell towers—in one instance only a third of a mile from an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) silo in Montana—is ‘capable of capturing and disrupting highly restricted Defense Department communications, including those used by U.S. Strategic Command, which oversees the country’s nuclear weapons.’ In 2020, Congress enacted a program to remove and replace Chinese-made cellular equipment throughout the United States. Committee Republicans are concerned that the Huawei equipment has yet to be removed and, therefore, continues to pose a threat to U.S. national security,” wrote the lawmakers.
On March 12, 2020, the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act of 2019 was signed into law. This bill established a program to supply small communications providers with funds to offset the cost of removing prohibited equipment and services from their networks and replacing it with more secure communications equipment. Congress appropriated nearly $2 billion to carry out the reimbursement program, but as of today, none of the Huawei equipment has been removed.
“Committee Republicans are concerned about corporate espionage, theft of military intelligence, and the capabilities of cellular telecommunications to be intercepted and monitored by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). According to reports, Huawei telecommunications equipment is capable of intercepting not only commercial cell traffic, but also data transmitted on restricted airwaves used by the military. The ability for Huawei to monitor—and possibly interrupt—U.S. military networks is a significant national security threat,” continued the lawmakers.
The letter to Secretary of Defense Austin can be found here.
The letter to FCC Chairwoman Rosenworcel can be found here.