U.S. bans Chinese telecom equipment and surveillance cameras over national security risk

The U.S.’s Federal Communications Commission (FEC) announced today that it would bar the importation of certain types of security cameras into the United States, citing concerns about potential risks to national security. “We are taking action because our nation faces serious cybersecurity threats,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement.

“Chinese vendors sell products that pose significant risks to our domestic interests – including facial recognition technology, data collection tools used for mass surveillance, and technologies designed to gain unauthorized access to Americans’ computers and cell phones.” The ban does not apply to camera systems sold directly to consumers and does not affect cameras purchased before April 23, 2020. “Our decision will help safeguard against the risk posed by those who seek to provide harmful services to consumers,” Pai added.

In 2019, the federal government blocked the sale of Huawei Technologies Co Ltd mobile phone chips to U.S. companies, citing suspicions of espionage activities by the company. Following the ban, the Trump administration issued sanctions that prevent U.S. customers from buying Huawei products made in Iran and North Korea. The bans sparked protests among tech giants, including Google and Apple Inc, whose executives met with President Donald Trump last month to discuss easing restrictions on U.S. sales

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