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U.S. House of Representatives, Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Investigative Report on the U.S. National Security Issues Posed by Chinese Telecommunications Companies Huawei and ZTE (October 8, 2012) (full-text).
The Committee initiated this investigation in November 2011 to inquire into the counterintelligence and security threat posed by Chinese telecommunications companies doing business in the United States.
The report recommends to U.S. companies considering doing business with Chinese telecommunications companies Huawei and ZTE to find another vendor. It encourages U.S. companies to take into account the long-term security risks associated with either company providing equipment or services to our telecommunications infrastructure. Additionally, the report recommends that U.S. government systems, particularly sensitive systems, exclude Huawei or ZTE equipment or component parts.
The report highlights the interconnectivity of U.S. critical infrastructure systems and warns of the heightened threat of cyber espionage and predatory disruption or destruction of U.S. networks if telecommunications networks are built by companies with known ties to the Chinese state, a country known to aggressively steal valuable trade secrets and other sensitive data from American companies.
Additionally, the report notes that modern critical infrastructure is incredibly connected, everything from electric power grids to banking and finance systems to natural gas, oil, and water systems to rail and shipping channels. All of these entities depend on computerized control systems. The risk is high that a failure or disruption in one system could have a devastating ripple effect throughout many aspects of American society.