CNN reported that cellphone towers throughout the US Midwest were capable to capture Pentagon communications.
CNN reports that the US government is stalling in efforts to get rid of Huawei’s telecom equipment. The FBI alleges that it could have monitored and disrupted communication at US military bases.
Congress has approved funding of $1.9Billion to eliminate Huawei and ZTE’s telecom equipment throughout the US in 2019, amid an aggressive crackdown on Chinese technology. According to the Federal Communications Commission, however last week it was clear that American networks would lose this Chinese-made equipment for between $4.7 billion and $4.98 trillion.
Much of this equipment remains in place, and although the administration of President Joe Biden has largely continued the efforts of his predecessor, Donald Trump, to purge the US of Chinese communications technology, a Commerce Department probe into Huawei’s activities is progressing slowly, CNN reported.
Reuters reports that the technology might have presented a serious security risk for the US. FCC commissioner Brendan Carr told the news outlet that cell phone towers around Montana’s Malmstrom Air Force Base – which controls several missile sites in the US – used Huawei technology, as did two other sites in Nebraska and Wyoming.
CNN has been informed anonymously that Huawei’s equipment is capable of disrupting and collecting communications from the Pentagon. US Strategic Command, the command in charge of the US’ nuclear deterrence and global strike forces, may have had its communications disrupted, the sources added.
Although it’s not known if data was intercepted or sent back by Huawei Towers, it remains to be a mystery whether such data ever existed. The Chinese government has persistently denied using the country’s tech firms to spy on the West, and Huawei told CNN that all of its products imported to the US meet FCC specifications and are unable to access any communications spectrum controlled by the Pentagon.
Huawei’s cyber security record has been unblemished for more than 30+ years. We have never been implicated in malicious cyber security attacks.”The company stated this in a statement.
This accusation comes at a moment of increasing rivalry between China and America, as Biden recently discussed potential military conflicts between the superpowers. FBI Director Christopher Wray warned Western business leaders about the possible involvement Beijing might be having in “pervasive”Espionage, data theft.
Yet while the US’ latest National Defense Strategy names “the [China] challenge in the Indo-Pacific” as its greatest military challenge and seeks to rally its allies into formal and informal alliances against Beijing, the alleged threat posed by Huawei precedes both the Trump and Biden administrations.
Since the Obama administration, FBI agents have been monitoring Huawei routers being installed on midwestern cell towers. Huawei sometimes sold its hardware at a loss for small US telecoms providers. By 2021 Huawei had installed its equipment on over 1,000 towers. The area bordering Wyoming, Nebraska, and Colorado is also home to an extensive cluster of nuclear missile silos.
After investigating this proliferation of equipment, the FBI discovered that Huawei’s traffic and weather cameras were also installed. An agency report that claimed that the data had been sent back to China was the reason for the 2019 bill mandating the removal.
Among the US accusations and Chinese denials of it, Beijing also claims that American tech companies have been collecting data from China. Over concerns their cameras might be used for sensitive data, Tesla vehicles were banned from several locations in China including that of the Chinese leader’s summer retreat.