As the competition for 5G continues, one of the largest players, Chinese company Huawei Technologies, is facing concerns from numerous countries that using Huawei equipment exposes their national networks to spying or worse by the Chinese government.
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Is Huawei a ‘Foreign Power’ or an ‘Agent of a Foreign Power’ Under FISA? Insights From the Sanctions Case
[Update: Several colleagues have pointed out that I did not make sufficiently clear that there is an alternate (and much less intriguing) explanation for the 1806(c) notices here.
In a letter released Wednesday, six former combatant commanders and intelligence chiefs outlined “grave concerns” about risks posed by Chinese-developed 5G networks, including espionage, constraints on U.S. military operations, and threats to democracy and human rights. The letter is available here and below.
Based on cybersecurity concerns, the United States, Australia and New Zealand have staked out policy positions that prevent or strongly discourage the acquisition of Huawei 5G technology for use in the national communications infrastructure of these nations. Other U.S. allies have announced or are considering policy positions that do not go so far and would indeed allow such acquisition at least to some extent.
Huawei has filed suit against the United States, alleging that provisions of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act restricting use of Huawei equipment and services by government agencies and contractors constitute an unconstitutional bill of attainder against the company. The lawsuit comes after high-profile indictments of the company and its Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou in recent weeks.
The U.S. criminal case against Huawei for sanctions-busting and fraud, and against its chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, for fraud, may prove an example of geopolitical “lawfare,” fought on many fronts.
The Trump administration’s effort to protect the security of fifth-generation, or 5G, wireless networks by limiting the deployment of Chinese technology both domestically and globally melds trade policy with cybersecurity policy. On both counts, it should not be considered sufficient.
On Jan. 28, the U.S. Department of Justice unveiled two sweeping indictments against Huawei. At a press conference, Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker first discussed the 10-count indictment unsealed in the Western District of Washington.
An obscure Chinese drug case has been pushed to the center of China’s relations with Canada—and, by implication, with the rest of the world. The case appears to reinforce the message, previously suggested by the detentions of Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, that China views the holding of human hostages as an acceptable way to conduct diplomacy.
Lately, Huawei has been a recurrent flashpoint in U.S.-China relations. The arrest in Canada of Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer and daughter of its founder, Ren Zhengfei, over allegations of bank fraud and sanctions violations has provoked intense controversy since early December.