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Huawei Hits FCC ‘Security Risk’ Classification as ‘Government Harassment Campaign’

Feb. 10, 2020 (EIRNS)—In a nearly 200-page document filed submitted Feb. 3 with the Federal Communications Commission, Huawei has strongly contested the FCC’s classification of them (and fellow Chinese communications company ZTE) as “security risks,” a unanimous declaration made by the FCC back in November 2019. The filing makes clear reference to the campaign led by anti-China, anti-Trump Republican Senators Tom Cotton (R-TX), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Ted Cruz (R-TX), in order to drive a wedge between the two major nations.

In its filing, submitted as part of the mandated 30-day “comment” period required by U.S. law, Huawei said, “The designation [of Huawei as a security risk] was not based on a sober, objective assessment of reliable evidence developed and considered through a fair and lawful process, but rather a gerrymandered recitation of ad hoc, Huawei-specific conclusions designed to implement a campaign by certain government officials, including members of Congress, to single out Huawei for burdensome and stigmatizing restrictions; put it out of business in the United States; and impugn its reputation around the world.”

Calling the FCC declaration “unlawful and misguided,” Huawei contends that the government regulator “exceeded its authority,” failed to treat other providers in a similar fashion, and “relied on half-truths and unsupported claims” for its decision.

Immediately after the FCC had announced its designating Huawei as a “security risk,” Huawei filed suit in U.S. Court, alleging that the FCC did not have this authority, and that only the Department of Homeland Security could make that determination. Filed in December 2018, that suit before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Louisiana is still pending.

Specifically calling the FCC’s November decision “adjudication disguised as rulemaking,” Huawei states that the charges against it

“have their origins in a December 20, 2017, letter that Senator Tom Cotton and 17 other members of Congress sent to [FCC] Chairman Pai, expressing their ‘concern about Chinese espionage in general, and Huawei’s role in that espionage in particular.’ The members’ ‘concern’ was based on a 2012 Report prepared by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which, more than eight years earlier, had purported to conduct an investigation ‘into the counterintelligence and security threat posed by Chinese telecommunications companies doing business in the United States.’ Based on this Report, these members of Congress told Chairman Pai that ‘Huawei ... cannot be trusted to be free of foreign state influence and thus poses a security threat to the United States and to our systems.’ ”

In a much shorter filing with the FCC, ZTE was more conciliatory, contending that it had spent “hundreds of millions of dollars” to address FCC “compliance” concerns, and “respectfully requesting” that the FCC find in its favor.

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