Such is the global cyber security threat facing the USA, President Trump has declared a state of national emergency.
The head of state has said that the protection of the US nation’s computer networks from “foreign adversaries” is now a priority, although Trump has not yet given the name of any one company posing a threat, BBC news reports.
Most spectators will infer that Chinese telecommunications giant, Huawei, is first at the forefront of president Trump’s mind, especially given the number of concerns raised in the international community over how Beijing could be using the Huawei products and technologies to conduct mass surveillance.
Huawei has been added to its “entity list” by the commerce department, thus banning the company from buying components and technology from the US without government approval.
Huawei has always denied having any part in any surveillance, espionage or sabotage behaviours and insists it does not pass information on to the Communist Party of China.
A statement coming from the US government says:
“The President has made it clear that this Administration will do what it takes to keep America safe and prosperous, and to protect America from foreign adversaries who are actively and increasingly creating and exploiting vulnerabilities in information and communications technology infrastructure and services in the United States.
“This Executive Order declares a national emergency with respect to the threats against information and communications technology and services in the United States,” it continues.
Powers have now been delegated to the secretary of commerce, Wilbur Ross, to “prohibit transactions posing an unacceptable risk to the national security.”
Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission has given Mr Trump’s move his approval, describing it as a “significant step toward securing America’s networks.”
In response to the news, Huawei stated:
“Restricting Huawei from doing business in the US will not make the US more secure or stronger.
“Instead this will only serve to limit the US to inferior yet more expensive alternatives, leaving the US lagging behind in 5G deployment, and eventually harming the interests of US companies and consumers.”
Chinese foreign affairs spokesman Gen Shuang said:
“We urge the US side to stop oppressing Chinese companies under the pretext of security concerns and provide a fair, just and non-discriminatory environment for their normal investment and operation.”
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