US panel starts probe into security threat by Chinese telecoms


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May 10, 2010
[h=1]US panel starts probe into security threat by Chinese telecoms[/h]WASHINGTON: A key US Congressional committee has initiated a probe into the national security threat posed by Chinese-owned telecommunications companies operating in US.

The investigation by the house permanent select committee on intelligence will review the extent to which these companies provide the Chinese government an opportunity for greater foreign espionage, threaten America's critical infrastructure, and further the opportunity for Chinese economic espionage, a media release said.

The committee will also review whether the US government - including the collection resources of the intelligence community - is appropriately focused on discovering the full scope of the Chinese threat and developing mitigation measures to ensure the security of US telecommunications networks.

"The fact that our critical infrastructure could be used against us is of serious concern," said Mike Rogers, chairman of the committee.

"We are looking at the overall infrastructure threat and Huawei happens to be the 800 pound gorilla in the room, but there are other companies that will be included in the investigation as well.

"As the formal investigation begins, I stand by my caution to the American business community about engaging Huawei technology until we can fully determine their motives," he said.

Early this year Rogers and Ranking member Dutch Ruppersberger had instructed committee staff to conduct a preliminary review of the alleged threat, posed to the US's national security and critical infrastructure by the expansion of Chinese-owned telecommunications companies.

"We already know the Chinese are aggressively hacking into our nation's networks, threatening our critical infrastructure and stealing secrets worth millions of dollars in intellectual property from American companies," Ruppersberger said.

"The purpose of this investigation is to determine to what extent Chinese communications companies are exploiting the global supply chain and how we can mitigate this threat to our national and economic security," the lawmaker said.

The committee will seek information from relevant telecommunications providers, request information and briefings from private-sector telecommunications security experts, conduct interviews with key US government officials, and hold a series of hearings and briefings to uncover what these Chinese companies are capable of doing.

US panel starts probe into security threat by Chinese telecoms - The Times of India

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