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Network Security //

Data Center

3/27/2018
11:05 AM
Scott Ferguson
Scott Ferguson
News Analysis-Security Now
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FCC Cites 'National Security' Concerns to Withhold Federal Contracts

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is proposing new rules that will allow the commission to withhold federal contracts and other funds based on national security concerns. This is likely to involve several companies based in Russia and China.

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission is proposing new rules that will allow the commission to block certain tech companies from receiving federal contracts and other funds if these suppliers are deemed a threat to national security.

The proposal, announced March 26, would apply to the FCC's $8.5 billion Universal Service Fund (USF), which helps provide telecommunications and other services to rural and low-income areas.

"Hidden 'back doors' to our networks in routers, switches -- and virtually any other type of telecommunications equipment -- can provide an avenue for hostile governments to inject viruses, launch denial-of-service attacks, steal data, and more," FCC Chairman Ajit Pai wrote in a statement released Monday.

Although the proposal did not specify which companies the proposed rule changes are targeting, Light Reading Mobile Editor Dan Jones reports that China's Huawei Technologies and ZTE, along with Russia's Kasperksy Labs, are likely to come under additional scrutiny.

The FBI and CIA have previously sent warnings about Huawei and ZTE. (See Unknown Document 739679.)


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Kasperksy has also come under scrutiny for its ties to the Russian government, but company spokespeople have denied any connection.

The FCC will hold a vote on new rules on April 17.

For more details, read the full story on Security Now's parent site, Light Reading .

Related posts:

— Scott Ferguson, is the managing editor of Light Reading and the editor of Security Now. Follow him on Twitter @sferguson_LR.

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