Senators Want Huawei to Power Down

A bipartisan group of senators has urged the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Energy to ban the use of Huawei technology in U.S. energy infrastructure.

It is one of the Chinese telecoms that intelligence officials have said pose a security threat due to alleged ties to the Chinese government.

Related: Vermont Bans Chinese Telecom Tech from Government Info, Telecom Systems

Signing on to the letter to DHS secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and DOE secretary Rick Perry were Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), John Cornyn (R-Tex.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Angus King (I-Me.), Susan Collins (R-Me.), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), and Mitt Romney (R-Utah).

Congress has already banned Huawei tech from government communications systems and wants the Administration to do the same with the power grid. They point out that Huawei is the world's largest maker of inverters, which are key components in energy production, and want a ban on those Huawei inverters, pointing out that both large and small scale energy systems are vulnerable to cyberattack.

Huawei president Ren Zhengfei told CBS last week his company hasn't been used as a platform for spying, and would not do so even if asked by the Chinese government.

China passed a law in 2017 requiring companies to assist national intelligence gathering, CBS pointed out. "[W]e never participate in espionage and we do not allow any of our employees to do any act like that," Ren told CBS Morning News co-host Bianna Golodryga. "And we absolutely never install backdoors. Even if we were required by Chinese law, we would firmly reject that."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.