In an escalation of the U.S. campaign to convince allies not to use Huawei, U.S. Senator Tom Cotton is calling for a ban on intelligence sharing with countries that use the company’s 5G equipment, according to Reuters.
Huawei has been accused of being a conduit for Chinese spying on foreign countries. While all Chinese corporations are required to cooperate with the Chinese government and intelligence, Huawei is seen as having closer ties to Beijing than most. Huawei has denied the claims, but it has not stopped many carriers from looking elsewhere as they roll out their 5G networks.
Cotton introduced a provision in the 2020 defense spending bill, which was signed into law by President Trump in December, that “directs intelligence agencies to consider the use of telecoms and cybersecurity infrastructure ‘provided by adversaries of the United States, particularly China and Russia,’ when entering intelligence-sharing agreements with foreign countries.”
According to Reuters, Cotton is taking it a step further, drafting a new bill that would place much tighter restrictions on intelligence sharing agreements with countries that use Huawei for their 5G networks. The bill could be introduced as early as this month.
This news comes as the UK debates what role Huawei will have in its own 5G rollout.
“I’m profoundly concerned about the possibility that close allies, including the UK, might permit the Chinese Communist Party effectively to build their highly sensitive 5G infrastructure,” Cotton told Reuters.