FBI, NSA Warn Americans against Buying Huawei Smartphones

Six top US intelligence chiefs caution against buying Huawei phones

US v China IP row intensifies as senators weigh in

People, companies, and other entities should be highly wary of using smartphones made by Chinese firms, according to several USA senators and top intelligence officials.

At the hearing, the intelligence chiefs commended American telecom companies for their measured resistance to the Chinese companies.

According to a CNBC report, the heads of CIA, FBI, NSA and the director of national intelligence expressed these concerns during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing late on Tuesday.

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Under questioning from Republican Senator Tom Cotton, none of the Intelligence officials said they would use a Huawei or ZTE product.

FBI Director Chris Wray explained why it is an issue for companies and local governments to use Huawei or ZTE products and services.

Wray warned that such level of power will allow Chinese agencies to exert control over the USA communications networks. "It provides the capacity to maliciously modify or steal information".

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For its part, Huawei told CNBC that it poses no more security risk than other tech companies because such companies share the same global supply chains and production capabilities. "And it provides the capacity to conduct undetected espionage", Wray said.

"Huawei is aware of a range of USA government activities seemingly aimed at inhibiting Huawei's business in the United States market", a Huawei spokesman reportedly said in a statement.

"This is a challenge I think that is only going to increase, not lessen over time for us", said NSA director Adm. Michael Rogers. The Chinese group added that the US government is actively trying to undermine its business operations in the USA market.

Nonetheless, the statements this week from the nation's top intelligence officials represent a notable repudiation of those companies' efforts to break into the USA market.

Huawei CEO Richard Yu went off-script at the end of his CES keynote to share his disappointment at the missed opportunities – for consumers, carriers and Huawei alike – since the deals were quashed.

Burr said he anxious that foreign commercial investment and acquisitions might jeopardize sensitive technologies and that US academic research and laboratories may be at risk of infiltration by China's spies.

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