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senate Bill S. 1625

Should the Feds Pay to Remove Chinese Equipment Used for Spying from U.S. 5G Networks?

Argument in favor

As 5G networks are built and deployed across the country, it’s important to ensure that they’re secure. Given the Chinese government’s mandate that Chinese companies help facilitate spying, it’s important to keep Chinese telecom companies’ components out of the U.S. 5G network.

jimK's Opinion
···
06/29/2019
Recently it was uncovered that some server boards by SuperMicro manufactured in China had a mysterious chip that was studied and found to implement secret monitoring of all network traffic processed on-board at the hardware level. These boards are quality high performance boards which are low priced and widely purchased for large server farms, corporate and government networks. Google, Amazon and several others issued statements that their SuperMicro boards were OK. Then it all went very silent. The point is that Chinese have incorporated technology to spy in products that their manufacturers sell (tech passed to them to support their manufacturing for others). I see the same risk for 5G networks. Hardware based espionage is much more difficult to discover than software based espionage.
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David's Opinion
···
06/29/2019
This is a question? They’re stealing our information, what are we going to do, let it happen??
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SneakyPete's Opinion
···
06/30/2019
👍🏻SECURE 5G NETWORKS WITH USA PRODUCTS & EQUIPMENT👍🏻 As 5G networks are built and deployed across the country, it’s important to ensure that they’re secure. Given the Chinese government’s mandate that Chinese companies help facilitate spying, it’s important to keep Chinese telecom companies’ components out of the U.S. 5G network. SneakyPete..... 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻. 6.29.19.....
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Argument opposed

Huawei — one of the two Chinese companies specifically identified in this bill — is the global leader in 5G technology. If the U.S. wants to win the race to deploy a national 5G network, it’ll need to continue using Huawei technology, especially in rural areas where cost is a concern.

Dennis's Opinion
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06/30/2019
The feds should make the Chinese pay to remove it.
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Doug's Opinion
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06/30/2019
We need to secure the privacy of the 5G network but the bill needs to be passed on to China.
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Jerrey's Opinion
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06/30/2019
UPON PRESENTATION OF SOLID EVIDENCE, I would support this bill. However, to date, does such evidence exist? While I concede it is possible, no decision to prevent use of or TO PURCHASE such equipment should be made without due diligence. As Reagan said “trust but verify” and this needs to be continuous verification not just one-time.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
    IntroducedMay 22nd, 2019

What is Senate Bill S. 1625?

This bill — the United States 5G Leadership Act of 2019 — would make it U.S. policy to support  the commercial deployment and security of Fifth Generation (5G) networks and the development of the U.S. Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector. It would also make it U.S. policy to exclude equipment or services provided by Chinese corporations Huawei, ZTE, or their affiliates from American 5G network.

To achieve these goals, this bill would:

  • Require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to finalize its rulemaking to prohibit the use of Universal Service Fund subsidies to buy equipment or services from providers that pose a national security risk;
  • Establish the Supply Chain Security Trust Fund grant program to help U.S. communications providers remove Huawei equipment from their networks and make up to $700 million from future spectrum auctions available for this purpose;
  • Require a report on steps that the federal government is taking to ensure 5G networks’ secure deployment and availability;
  • Establish an interagency program, led by the Dept. of Homeland Security, to share information about security, risks and vulnerabilities with U.S. communications providers; and
  • Prioritize funding to enhance America’s representation at international 5G standards-setting bodies, such as the International Telecommunications Union.

Impact

U.S. telecom networks; U.S. telecom companies; 5G network development and deployment; 5G network security; Dept. of Homeland Security; FCC; Universal Service Fund subsidies; Supply Chain Security Trust Fund grant; international 5G standards-setting bodies; International Telecommunications Union; China; Huawei; and ZTE.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 1625

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthSen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) introduced this bill to ensure the security of future U.S. 5G networks:

"5G networks need to be robust and secure, and not rely on equipment or services that pose a national security risk. This legislation would ensure continued American leadership in advanced wireless technology deployment. It offers relief to those providers that need to replace foreign equipment within their networks while augmenting the availability of secure 5G networks for all Americans."

Original cosponsor Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) adds that the federal government needs to address the security risks posed by Huawei and ZTE equipment:

"For a number of years, the federal government failed to effectively communicate the economic and national security risks of Huawei and ZTE communications equipment - and even adopted broadband grant policies that incentivized rural carriers to use this equipment because it was the cheapest around. While we've made enormous progress in educating the private sector of the dangers these vendors pose, we haven't put in place policies to help resource-strapped rural carriers address and eliminate those risks. This bill ensures that on a going-forward basis we don't make the same mistakes in allowing companies subject to extra-judicial directions of a foreign adversary to infiltrate our nation's communications networks. And it provides significant resources to ensure that rural and regional providers can prioritize investments that eliminate this equipment from their existing networks where it poses a security threat. Lastly, it builds on efforts my colleagues and I have already undertaken to engage with and educate the private sector about security risks and vulnerabilities posed to communications networks from certain foreign suppliers. We also believe this type of effort will be an important signal to international partners that we are putting resources behind this issue, and encouraging them to do the same."

Original cosponsor Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) notes the high stakes involved in future 5G networks’ security:

“Future U.S. security and economic prosperity will depend on 5G technology. With so much at stake, our communications infrastructure must be protected from threats posed by foreign governments and companies like Huawei. Our bill will support 5G's deployment in the United States while defending that technology from exploitation."

The Trump administration has made efforts to restrict U.S. networks’ use of Chinese telecom companies’ products. To this end, President Trump issued an executive order on May 15 giving the Commerce Dept. the power and mandate to block suspect telecoms from doing business with U.S. networks. When he announced the order, Trump said:

“The unrestricted acquisition or use in the United States of information and communications technology or services designed, developed, manufactured, or supplied by persons owned by, controlled by, or subject to the jurisdiction or direction of foreign adversaries augments the ability of foreign adversaries to create and exploit vulnerabilities in information and communications technology or services.”

While White House officials claimed on background that the order was company- and country-agnostic, the Commerce Dept. put Huawei on a list of suspect companies that will require a license to do business in the U.S. (and Huawei is unlikely to receive a license).

In a statement responding to the executive order, Huawei argued that the U.S. is kneecapping its own efforts to win the race to next-gen wireless when it rejects Huawei technology. In the statement, Huawei said, “Huawei is the unparalleled leader in 5G. We are ready and willing to engage with the U.S. government and come up with effective measures to ensure product security." It also said:

“Restricting Huawei from doing business in the U.S. will not make the U.S. more secure or stronger; instead, this will only serve to limit the U.S. to inferior yet more expensive alternatives, leaving the U.S. lagging behind in 5G deployment, and eventually harming the interests of U.S. companies and consumers. In addition, unreasonable restrictions will infringe upon Huawei's rights and raise other serious legal issues."

In a letter to Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Chairman Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Ranking Member Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) expressed its support for securing U.S. networks by addressing specific suppliers that have been identified as national security risks. In the letter, TIA specifically identified Huawei, ZTE and Kaspersky Lab as suppliers of concern.

This bill has four bipartisan cosponsors, consisting of two Senators from each party.


Of NoteHuawei — one of the Chinese companies that’d be affected by this bill — was founded in 1987 by a former People’s Liberation Army soldier, Ren Zhengfei. The company has grown into the world’s largest supplier of telecom network equipment and the global leader in 5G technology. The company’s critics believe it’s a potential Trojan horse that, once embedded in international communications systems, could allow Chinese government spying or remote control of vital telecom systems. For its part, the company has vigorously denied those claims.

Both the Trump administration and Congress have expressed concerns that Chinese telecom companies Huawei and ZTE may pose a security threat to the U.S. telecom network because of their connections to the Chinese government, which mandates that industry abet spying. Thus, the U.S. and its allies are concerned that Huawei technology may enable the Chinese government to spy on or harm its Western adversaries by harnessing Huawei’s pervasive technology.

Multichannel News notes that “[w]hile there have been numerous efforts to prevent future nets from containing suspect Chinese tech,” high costs to scrub Chinese technology from existing networks are currently likely to be cost-prohibitive, especially for smaller telecoms for whom ZTE’s and Huawei’s subsidized low prices were a cost-effective alternative to other technologies. By making federal funds available to telecoms to help them remove Chinese technologies from their infrastrastructure, this bill would address that hurdle.

At the end of 2018, the Rural Wireless Association, a trade group, told the FCC that at least 25% of its members rely on equipment that could be perceived as posing a national security threat to communications networks or the communications supply chain.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / sarayut)

AKA

United States 5G Leadership Act of 2019

Official Title

A bill to promote the deployment of commercial fifth-generation mobile networks and the sharing of information with communications providers in the United States regarding security risks to the networks of those providers, and for other purposes.

    Recently it was uncovered that some server boards by SuperMicro manufactured in China had a mysterious chip that was studied and found to implement secret monitoring of all network traffic processed on-board at the hardware level. These boards are quality high performance boards which are low priced and widely purchased for large server farms, corporate and government networks. Google, Amazon and several others issued statements that their SuperMicro boards were OK. Then it all went very silent. The point is that Chinese have incorporated technology to spy in products that their manufacturers sell (tech passed to them to support their manufacturing for others). I see the same risk for 5G networks. Hardware based espionage is much more difficult to discover than software based espionage.
    Like (100)
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    The feds should make the Chinese pay to remove it.
    Like (29)
    Follow
    Share
    This is a question? They’re stealing our information, what are we going to do, let it happen??
    Like (49)
    Follow
    Share
    👍🏻SECURE 5G NETWORKS WITH USA PRODUCTS & EQUIPMENT👍🏻 As 5G networks are built and deployed across the country, it’s important to ensure that they’re secure. Given the Chinese government’s mandate that Chinese companies help facilitate spying, it’s important to keep Chinese telecom companies’ components out of the U.S. 5G network. SneakyPete..... 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻. 6.29.19.....
    Like (37)
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    Yes, get Chinese equipment out of our communication system. They steal our intellectual property. I don’t trust them.
    Like (31)
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    China is a self-declared enemy of the United States. Nothing we do should support the Chinese regime.
    Like (22)
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    Any thing that poses a cyber threat must be dealt with post haste
    Like (19)
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    You get what you pay for. When you get low bids, you generally have to redo the project. Low bid is not always the answer. 5 G will be used all through America, so if you want control, stay American, write the proposal so it stays in America. We have Tech Companies here in America that do as well or better.
    Like (17)
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    Keep Chinese spying technology out of USA 5G.
    Like (13)
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    Pay now with money or pay later with information they steal!!! Dumb question. Get it removed ASAP.
    Like (12)
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    Yes. I support this proposal. We had multiple military laptops destroyed back in 2014 because they had Chinese hardware designed for collecting data and sending it back to China. It’s a larger issue than most anyone knows.
    Like (11)
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    If you sell equipment that is built to basically be a spy device than you shouldn’t be allowed to do it in America. Law enforcement in America making sure they’re fighting terrorism is different than some Chinese company selling hacked equipment to people. LIKE MY TAKE? GIVE ME A FOLLOW
    Like (10)
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    Stop China from trying to win the race. They are gathering intel from us so we must protect our 5G networks.
    Like (9)
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    Too late for some as the severe damage has been done and it appears there is no recourse or remedy for it. Who’s the ones who continue to target, harass and damage our health via space based satellite weapons? I’d say take their tech equipment away also.
    Like (8)
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    We need to secure the privacy of the 5G network but the bill needs to be passed on to China.
    Like (8)
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    We should never be paying for anything used by the Chinese to spy on us! We should be competing with the Chinese for 5G, and everything else!
    Like (7)
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    I believe it is a requirement of the government to protect our country. That is an act of war on China’s part.
    Like (7)
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    Support S 1625 Roger Wicker. Support and Secure US 5G technology!
    Like (6)
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    Hello! Yes!
    Like (5)
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    If they (OUR spyboyz) find it, they need to kill (remove) it. Period. Unless we just want to let them have everything we've got. Trust no one.
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