Two US Lawmakers Raise Security Concerns about Chinese Cellular Modules
12:41 JST, August 9, 2023
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to address questions about potential security concerns involving cellular modules made by Chinese companies including Quectel 603236.SS and Fibocom Wireless 300638.SZ.
The Republican chair of the House of Representatives China Select Committee, Mike Gallagher, and the panel’s top Democrat, Raja Krishnamoorthi, in a letter to FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel raised alarm that U.S. medical equipment, vehicles and farm equipment could be accessed and controlled remotely from China if they use Chinese-made cellular modules.
An FCC spokesperson said the commission “will closely review the committee’s letter. We take very seriously the security of U.S. networks and equipment” and noted commissioners have “taken strong actions on a bipartisan basis to remove untrustworthy equipment and network operators from U.S. networks.”
The companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Cellular modules are components that enable internet of things (IoT) devices to connect to the internet. Noting that they are typically controlled remotely and are the necessary link between the device and the internet, the lawmakers said that if China “can control the module, it may be able to effectively exfiltrate data or shut down the IoT device. This raises particularly grave concerns in the context of critical infrastructure and any type of sensitive data.”
In September, the FCC named Chinese telecom companies Pacific Networks, its wholly owned subsidiary ComNet (USA), and China Unicom (Americas) 0762.HK as threats to U.S. national security under a 2019 law aimed at protecting communications networks.
In March 2021, the FCC initially designated five Chinese companies under its “Covered List” – including Huawei Technologies, ZTE 000063.SZ, Hytera Communications 002583.SZ, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology 002415.SZ and Zhejiang Dahua Technology 002236.SZ.
The lawmakers asked the FCC to consider using the Covered List to address Chinese-owned cellular modules and to answer if the commission can track the presence of Quectel, Fibocom and other modules provided by Chinese companies.
In 2022, the Chinese Embassy in Washington said the FCC “abused state power and maliciously attacked Chinese telecom operators again without factual basis.” Huawei has repeatedly denied allegations of wrongdoing.
"NEWS SERVICES" POPULAR ARTICLE
Japanese Actor-Director Kitano Says His New Film Explores Homosexual Relations in the Samurai World
Japan’s Nintendo Profits Jump as Its Game Sales Get a Boost from the Hit Super Mario Movie
Japan’s Nikkei Pares Early Gains as Investors Lock in Profits
Israel Searches for Traces of Hamas in Raid of Key Gaza Hospital Packed with Patients
Japan’s Nikkei Inches Down as Automakers Skid on Yen Strength
JN ACCESS RANKING
- BOJ Ueda: Japan Increasingly Likely to Hit Inflation Target
- Japan April-Sept. Current Account Surplus Hits Record High
- Food, Beverage Price Hikes Show Signs of Easing; Fuel Prices, Consumer Frugality Slowing Down Price Rises
- Japan 2023 Food Exports Reach 1 Tril. Yen at Record Pace
- 69.7 Bil. Yen in COVID-19 Loans to Small Businesses Uncollectible