FBI, CIA Warn Against Buying Huawei Phones

CIA FBI and NSA officials warn US citizens not to buy Huawei smartphones

The heads of six major USA intelligence agencies have warned private citizens of the United States against using products and services offered by Huawei and ZTE, its fellow telecom company based out of China.

As reported by CNBC, the heads of the CIA, FBI and NSA, as well as the director of national intelligence, warned against buying Huawei handsets during a meeting with the Senate Intelligence Committee.

By using these phones, Federal Bureau of Investigation director Chris Wray argues, it opens up the potential for "foreign governments that don't share our values to gain positions of power inside our telecommunications networks".

Wray warned that such level of power will allow Chinese agencies to exert control over the US communications networks. He added that this would provide "the capacity to maliciously modify or steal information. And it provides the capacity to conduct undetected espionage".

All six indicated they would not recommend private citizens use products from the Chinese companies. The fears stem, mainly, from the fact that Huawei was founded by Ren Zhengfei, a former engineer in China's People's Liberation Army.

Huawei's first attempt to reach the USA market was a failed deal with AT&T.

Taking matters a step further with regard to their fear of Chinese espionage through their smartphones, it's been reported that US lawmakers are considering a new bill that would ban the usa government from using any phones or products manufactured by Huawei or ZTE.

Huawei attempted to enter the USA market by partnering with U.S. carriers but the United States government pressured AT&T and Verizon to drop the deal. The closest successful attempt to do so happened earlier this year as Huawei was preparing to launch their Mate 10 device. The Huawei Mate 10 Pro was supposed to be the Chinese ... "The focus of my concern today is China, and specifically Chinese telecoms like Huawei and ZTE, that are widely understood to have extraordinary ties to the Chinese government", Republican Senator Richard Burr, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said, according to The Verge.

Huawei has responded to claims from top USA intelligence agencies that it poses a potential risk, telling TechRadar it "poses no greater cyber security risk than any ICT (information and communications technology) vendor". "You need to look long and hard at companies like this".

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