You may recall reading about US government concerns regarding Kaspersky Lab‘s alleged ties to the Russian government and Lenovo‘s ties to the Chinese government. Both of these brands are banned in most US government agencies out of a concern that their presence could present security risks. Specific concerns were related to software and hardware components that could be used to spy on users with hardware and software from those companies.
You may not yet recognize the names Huawei and ZTE, but they are Chinese manufacturers of technology devices. Both have manufactured devices for other manufacturers, but both are also introducing devices into the US market under their own brand names. Huawei has started an aggressive advertising campaign to drive demand ahead of entering the market. The US government has similar concerns about these companies. They have long been rumored to have ties to the Chinese government.
In response to these concerns, Texas Representative Mike Conaway has introduced a bill called the Defending U.S. Government Communications Act. It’s intent is to ban US government agencies from using products from these manufacturer’s. It follows a growing concern within many governments about adversaries using technology to try to infiltrate secure systems or influence society.
It is unclear if this new legislation will become US law, but it does underscore the concern of the intelligence communities around the world about this evolving threat.