A House bill proposed to ban communication of foreign intelligence and counterintelligence produced by the US intelligence community with countries that allow use of Huawei’s 5G telecommunication technology.
The US intelligence community — a set of government agencies and offices including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the National Security Agency (NSA) and intelligence offices at the Department of State, Treasury and Homeland Security — gathers information on terrorist activities, on the “capabilities, intentions, or activities” of foreign entities, and on US activities to protect against hostile foreign entities. Under the bill, such information could not be shared with crucial allies, such as the UK, Germany, and the United Arab Emirates—a key ally in the Middle East—who have already installed or plan to install Huawei 5G technology.
The bill comes at a time of intense US lobbying against the inclusion of Huawei’s equipment, perceived as having low price and high quality, in the 5G infrastructure development of several allied countries. “We are giving the [Trump] administration leverage with this legislation to send a signal to our allies that they’re making a grave mistake in compromising their data and potentially our national security and related intelligence data, if they choose Huawei,” said Representative Jim Banks (R-IN-3), the sponsor of the bill. Shortly after the proposal of the bill, the UK awarded Huawei with a role in its 5G infrastructure development and the European Union announced it will not unilaterally ban Huawei’s 5G technology by member countries.