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The FBI, CIA and NSA say American citizens shouldn't use Huawei phones

U.S. intelligence agencies have issued a stern warning to Americans: Do not buy smartphones made by Chinese tech comp...

Posted: Feb 15, 2018 10:31 AM
Updated: Feb 15, 2018 10:31 AM

U.S. intelligence agencies have issued a stern warning to Americans: Do not buy smartphones made by Chinese tech companies Huawei or ZTE.

Top officials from the CIA, NSA, FBI and the Defense Intelligence Agency testified in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday that the Chinese smartphone makers posed a security threat to American customers.

Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas asked the group to raise their hands if they would recommend private American citizens use products or services made by Apple competitor Huawei or smartphone maker ZTE. None of them did.

FBI Director Chris Wray explained why it is an issue for companies and local governments to use Huawei or ZTE products and services.

There is a risk of letting any company "beholden to foreign governments" inside the country's telecommunications infrastructure, he said. Huawei is a global leader in networking equipment, and the government has previously blocked it from selling technology to some federal agencies.

Related: Huawei fails to clinch smartphone deal with AT&T

"It provides the capacity to maliciously modify or steal information," Wray said. "And it provides the capacity to conduct undetected espionage."

Huawei has not made strides in the U.S. market in large part because of government concerns that the Chinese government can use its smartphones and other products for intelligence gathering.

In 2012, Congress released a report saying the two Chinese companies should be viewed "with suspicion." The companies both strongly disputed the reports' findings at the time, with Huawei calling them "baseless."

In January, talks between Huawei and AT&T to sell its smartphones fell through. On Tuesday, Wray praised the efforts of telecommunications providers that are trying to "raise awareness on this issue."

"Huawei is trusted by governments and customers in 170 countries worldwide and poses no greater cybersecurity risk than any ICT vendor, sharing as we do common global supply chains and production capabilities," a spokesperson for Huawei said in a statement.

ZTE said in a statement its mobile phones and devices incorporate chipsets and other components manufactured in the U.S.

"As a publicly traded company, we are committed to adhering to all applicable laws and regulations of the United States, work with carriers to pass strict testing protocols, and adhere to the highest business standards," a representative for ZTE said in an emailed statement.

Cotton introduced a bill last week that would prohibit the government from contracting with companies that use Huawei or ZTE products. It's a companion bill to the "Defending U.S. Government Communications Act" put forth in the House last month. In 2013, Congress passed a law that prevented some federal agencies from buying tech from these firms without approval.

It's the latest push by Congress to prohibit foreign-made products due to intelligence concerns. For instance, the Russia-based Kaspersky Lab has been banned from federal computers.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 16041

Reported Deaths: 767
CountyConfirmedDeaths
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Lauderdale74568
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Neshoba70742
Jones66331
Scott66112
Forrest59439
DeSoto5538
Leake44712
Rankin4468
Holmes43928
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Jackson30813
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Yazoo2864
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Lamar2485
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Wayne2242
Pearl River21131
Pike20411
Adams20015
Noxubee1916
Washington1917
Warren18110
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Jasper1654
Lee1657
Bolivar16511
Clarke15419
Smith15311
Kemper14711
Lafayette1414
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Coahoma1274
Winston1211
Marion1179
Carroll11711
Clay1154
Claiborne1122
Lawrence1061
Simpson1020
Grenada993
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Tate951
Hancock9112
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Tunica563
Prentiss563
Perry513
Choctaw482
Pontotoc433
Jefferson431
Tishomingo340
Quitman340
Stone310
Franklin292
Tallahatchie291
George261
Greene221
Alcorn181
Benton140
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 18474

Reported Deaths: 651
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2283118
Jefferson1882103
Montgomery180243
Tuscaloosa81616
Marshall7059
Franklin5768
Lee55234
Shelby52220
Tallapoosa43166
Butler41618
Walker3782
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Chambers35826
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Morgan2971
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DeKalb2563
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Sumter2267
Houston2235
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Hale1789
Russell1770
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Lauderdale1672
Calhoun1653
Choctaw15310
Wilcox1527
Cullman1501
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Talladega1175
Limestone1080
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