Home Product listing US FCC adds Russian telecommunications companies Kaspersky and Chinese to list of national security threats

US FCC adds Russian telecommunications companies Kaspersky and Chinese to list of national security threats

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WASHINGTON, March 25 (Reuters) – The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) added Russian companies AO Kaspersky Lab, China Telecom (Americas) Corp (0728.HK) and China Mobile International USA (0941.HK) to its list on Friday. communications equipment. and service providers deemed threats to the national security of the United States.

Last year, the regulator named five Chinese companies, including Huawei Technologies Co (HWT.UL) and ZTE Corp (000063.SZ), as the first companies on the list, which was mandated under a law of 2019. Kaspersky is the first listed Russian company.

FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr said the new designations “will help protect our networks from threats posed by Chinese and Russian state-backed entities that seek to engage in espionage and harm the interests Americans”.

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US officials have long said that running Kaspersky software could open US networks to malicious activity from Moscow, and banned Kaspersky’s flagship antivirus product from federal networks in 2017. Moscow-based Kaspersky has consistently denied being a tool. of the Russian government,

In naming Kaspersky, the FCC announcement did not cite Russia’s invasion of Ukraine or President Joe Biden’s recent warnings of potential Russian cyberattacks in response to US sanctions and government support. ‘Ukraine.

Kaspersky said in a statement that it was disappointed with the FCC’s decision, saying it was “made for political reasons.” The decision was “without merit and is a response to the geopolitical climate rather than a full assessment of the integrity of Kaspersky’s products and services,” the company said.

The Chinese Embassy in Washington said on Friday that the FCC “abused state power and again maliciously attacked Chinese telecom operators without factual basis.” The United States should immediately stop its unreasonable crackdown on Chinese companies.

“China will take necessary measures to resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese enterprises,” he added.

Chinese companies did not immediately comment.

In October, the FCC revoked China Telecom’s US authorization (Americas), saying it “is subject to the operation, influence and control of the Chinese government.” [nL1N2RM1QE]

The FCC cited its previous decisions to deny or revoke the ability of Chinese telecom companies to operate in the United States in its decision to add them to the list of threats.

The FCC also revoked the US authorizations of China Unicom (0762.HK) and Pacific Networks and its wholly-owned subsidiary ComNet.

In 2019, the FCC rejected China Mobile’s bid to provide US telecommunications services, citing national security risks.

Inclusion on the “covered list” means that money from the FCC’s $8 billion annual Universal Service Fund cannot be used to purchase or service the companies’ products. The fund supports telecommunications for rural areas, low-income consumers and facilities such as schools, libraries and hospitals.

Last year, the FCC also named Hytera Communications (002583.SZ), Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology (002415.SZ) and Dahua Technology (002236.SZ) as security threats.

FCC Chairman Jessica Rosenworcel said the agency was working closely with US national security agencies to update the list and would add other companies as needed.

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Reporting by David Shepardson and Raphael Satter Editing by Jonathan Oatis, Cynthia Osterman and Leslie Adler

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