Pentagon: Chinese-Made Cellphones A Security Risk, Sales Banned At Bases
May 03, 2018, 09:43
Huawei and ZTE devices cannot be sold on US military bases worldwide for fear that they could be threats to national security (insert Samsung Galaxy Note 7 joke here).
The move by the Pentagon is the latest blow to Huawei and ZTE, which sell smartphones and telecommunications equipment around the world.
The Department of Defense's order was confirmed to The Wall Street Journal by a Pentagon spokesperson who called the devices "an unacceptable risk" to operatives and their mission.
The Pentagon is concerned that the Chinese government will be able to track the location of USA soldiers using Huawei and ZTE phones.
Huawei faces ongoing troubles in the US.
Eastburn said he is not able to get into the technical aspects of potential threats, for security reasons.
Eastburn was quoted as saying "it was not prudent for the Department's exchange services to continue selling these products to our personnel", because of U.S. intelligence concerns at their security. So far, ZTE has not issued a comment. The US government imposed a ban on American tech, which means ZTE can't buy phone components created by US companies.
The US government's concerns over both Chinese smartphone makers go back years and are underscored by similar worries in other countries. Huawei denies that its devices are used in espionage, and says that it is an employee owned company that has never been asked to spy on or sabotage another country. The relationship has seen Trump threaten to impose tariffs on up to $150 billion of Chinese imports, a move that could trigger a trade war between the world's two largest economies. The Pentagon spokesperson did state that the Pentagon is now looking into sending out a military-wide warning about using phones manufactured by either Chinese company.
With reference to the present risk, a Journal source claims that leaders are concerned that the companies may carve out backdoors to device encryption and allow phones to broadcast location coordinates of soldiers' phones to Beijing.
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