back to article US Senate mulls giving Huawei and ZTE the Kaspersky treatment

Both halves of the US Congress are now mulling draft laws that would ban American government workers from using phones, network switches and other gear built by Chinese communications giants ZTE and Huawei. Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Little Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced this week Senate bill 2391, which would prohibit …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ah, we can't have anyone not toeing the line with equipment not having the approved NSA backdoor and we all know the foreigners won't put them in, in face some of them take them out and others find all our spying tools and block them.

    Bend over citizen.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge

      It's really "N.I.H."

      "equipment not having the approved NSA backdoor"

      NO, no, no. Gummint doesn't WANT any back doors! Not for THEIR stuff, anyway. [what the REST of us end up with, that's completely different].

      What it _REALLY_ is: a 'Not Invented Here' thing. At least, for equipment used in secure systems.

      That way U.S. laws can apply, and prevent manufacturers from sneaking in any kind of spying (or back doors) that create security problems. There could be the threat of jail time and/or YUGE fines for breaking security relied on by gummint systems "by design".

  2. redpawn Silver badge

    The solution is...

    a large military parade.

    1. Youngone

      Re: The solution is...

      a large military parade.

      No matter what the question was.

    2. GrumpyOldBloke

      Re: The solution is...

      Does it matter whose?

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Lars Silver badge

    Then again

    China could perhaps ban Boeing but, as it is, I think they are more adult than the US government today.

    1. Youngone

      Re: Then again

      Can you say "Trade War?"

      I wonder who wins one of those?

      Follow the money to find out who is pushing this.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Then again

      China has much more subtle ways of doing this: you have make the product in China under a joint venture.

      The problem for the US will be sourcing equivalent devices that don't have components made or assembled in China. If they try making everything in the US then this will push prices sky high for this and lots of other stuff which will over time make the US less competitive with the rest of the world, not just China. Much better to do a deal with the companies that allows for factory inspections or assembly in the US. But it looks like Smoot-Halley will be reincarnated as Rubio-Cotton.

      1. hellwig

        Re: Then again

        Yeah, China knows how to come out on top.

        US company, PLEASE bring your tech over here!

        Wait, first, you have to do it through a Chinese Company. That company has to own the IP.

        ....<few years later>....

        Hey US company, GTFO! BTW, we're keeping your IP.

  5. Mark 85 Silver badge

    No worries...the good Senators did their job and will tout it loudly come election season. Meanwhile back a the range, funds for replacing the infrastructure will be limited* and given that nothing ever happens "fast" (for some value of 'fast') in government due to procurement regulation and processes, etc.. The affected agencies will have more pressing matters than replacing the IT equipment.

    Which then begs a question.. how much equipment could be bought and replaced by the cost of a large military parade in DC?

  6. Ole Juul

    fake facts

    ""Huawei is effectively an arm of the Chinese government, and it's more than capable of stealing information from US officials by hacking its devices,"

    Wasn't there a previous story about that here on El Reg where we learnt that Huawei is quite distant from the Chinese government, and in fact there's a government electronics company which is a direct competitor to Huawei? Of course I wouldn't expect an American Senator to research anything before opening his mouth.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: fake facts

      is quite distant from the Chinese government

      You fail to understand how a Red Theocracy (usually erroneously called communism) works.

      1. There is the official social and business hierarchy. On that one most Chinese companies today (and some Soviet Block companies, especially outside USSR 20 years ago) look at arm's length.

      2. There is the communist party hierarchy. The Magisterium. It can and does override No 1. On that one, the distance is negligible.

      3. There is the security apparatus hierarchy. It can and does override 1 and 2, but it usually stays hidden.

      4. There is the communist party hierarchy of the security apparatus. You hardly ever see that unless it is the night of the long knives at the top like the USSR post-Brezhnev transitions.

      The fact that officially a particular Chinese company today (or Soviet Block company in the 80-es) look at arms length is not relevant as long as the communist party committees inside have any say in anything. And they do. Any Chinese businessmen who claims the opposite is welcome to disown in writing the Communist Party. I will buy the popcorn.

      1. Ole Juul

        Re: fake facts

        And this is different from the USA exactly how?

    2. big_D Silver badge

      Re: fake facts

      Don't let facts get in the way of a good ol' piece of xenophobia... Mine's the one without a Green Card in the pocket.

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: fake facts

      ZTE is pretty close to the Chinese army, Huawei less so.

      However, inasmuch as IIRC Ericsson and Cisco kit have in the past been found with Chinease "modifications" to them, some probity is warranted. It's just that waving the big protectionist brush probably isn't the best way to go about it.

  7. Dan 55 Silver badge

    &genie=1 (amongst others)

    Far better to choose patriotic all-American suppliers like Netgear. The brown envelope's in the post.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: &genie=1 (amongst others)

      Netgear has its OWN problems, *ARROGANCE* being one of them. They used to claim that their multi-antenna single-radio 802.11g solution from ~2005 was 'MIMO'. [what a joke!]

      /me points out that MIMO requires multiple radios and multipath (and the '802.11N' spec).

      I wouldn't recommend any NETGEAR solution for gummints, either. Yeah, they'd probably go with Cisco...

  8. Chris G Silver badge


    That is the direction these idiots are dragging the US into. Maybe they should stop pussying around and ban anything Chinese. Electronics, food, a good proportion of scientists working in US research.....

  9. James 51

    Does that extend to devices and components that were manufactured in China? That passed through Chinese ports? If they are serious about this then the entire global IT supply chain that has used China as a cheap source of labour is going to have to be restructured.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      If only China were just a source of cheap labour… In fact Chinese companies are not at the forefront of development in many fields so a blanket ban would be more akin to the Japanese (and to a lesser extent China) in 18th and 19th Centuries by keeping progress out. Mind you, you can see how popular this might be in large parts of Trumpland that wants to go back to the 1950s.

      1. Ole Juul

        "Chinese companies are not at the forefront of development in many fields . . . "

        However, we're talking electronics, and as it turns out Huawei has turned the corner a few years back and are pouring lots of money into R&D. I can see a wakeup call on the way here.

  10. Elmer Phud


    The more the 'threat of North Korea' is embedded in the U.S., the more we realise that the donald just wants to be Kim.

    Total command, total obedience, total nutjob.

  11. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Apple must be gloating... oh wait, they're using Chinese factories to assemble their iThings.

    Other cellphone makers (like blackberry and nokia) will eventually be forced out of the market as they're using Chinese parts.

    This is going to be interesting.

    Popcorn anyone?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ...Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Little Marco Rubio (R-FL)

    Little? Is that a first name, a slur, or something else?

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
  13. msknight Silver badge


    Are they now going to go to GoPro for their drone needs? I hear there's plenty going cheap....

  14. Toilet Duk

    They'll quite happily use equipment made in the same factories as Huawei products though, not like they make this stuff in 'Murrica is it?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ...people have wised up to the Chinese espionage that has been ongoing for decades. Only naïve fools believe that this is inappropriate security measures by the U.S.. It's what you don't know that causes you to reach incorrect conclusions.

  16. Jeffrey Nonken

    The Communist Menace is passe, so let's shift our panic-mongering over to everything Chinese.

    ...Because none of our other electronics were made in China. USA all the way!

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh please...

    If they wanted to stop anything from snooping they would have to ban ALL mobile devices...or have them all flashed with a custom ROM with no apps installed.

    (But then how would they govern without the Twitter and Facebook apps ?)

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