Inside sources at the White House say that President Trump is planning to sign an executive order to ban Chinese telecommunication equipment from being used in US wireless networks sometime next week.
According to CNBC this information was shared with Politico by three different sources which wish to remain anonymous in order to speak candidly about this forthcoming decision by the Trump administration.
This executive directive is expected to be issued before the Mobile World Congress (MWC), a major industry conference, which is scheduled to be held from Feb. 25 to Feb. 28, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain.
Issuance of the executive order comes at a time when the 5G ultra-high speed network infrastructure is being developed and concerns have been raised for cyber security threats.
Issuing the executive directive is the Trump administration’s effort to protect the US from cyber threats believing that using Chinese wireless hardware would allow the Chinese government to intrude into US businesses and government agencies.
These concerns for tight cybersecurity are based on the the indictments by the Justice Department of two Chinese operatives for their decade long espionage practices and theft of intellectual properties of US businesses and government agencies. As well as the intrusion of the Russian government in the 2016 elections.
The two Chinese companies that are pushing for contracts are Huawei and ZTE (which stands for Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment), China’s top two telecommunications businesses. China, Huawei and ZTE refute that there would be any risk from their hardware being used for cyber threats on US business or government data.
Like the US, other countries are also working to quickly build and expand the 5G wireless internet infrastructure which would of course increase the speed by which electronic devices communicate as well as supercharge the amount of data transmitted. Many countries are following suit in banning these Chinese businesses from being selected to provide their 5G infrastructure development.
National Security Council spokesman Garrett Marquis said the U.S. was “working across government and with our allies and like-minded partners to mitigate risk in the deployment of 5G and other communications infrastructure.”
The Department o Homeland Security (DHS) is now taking a front line role in scrutinizing the large web of the supply chain of global manufacturers and resellers of equipment and software to the US. The DHS has created a task force to develop guidelines for security assessments, putting together a list of approved manufacturers and advising companies regarding the possibility of supply chain threats.