WASHINGTON – House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff said he has “profound concern” about Chinese networking giant Huawei Technologies Co. and the security and privacy threats that integrating its equipment across 5G mobile networks would incur.
Schiff said Tuesday he believes the company would be unable to refuse Chinese government requests for data that are accessible through its technology.
“I have profound concerns about Huawei and do believe that Huawei is a national security threat,” Schiff told reporters during a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor. “Particularly if it becomes integral and integrated into our 5G network, or that of our allies.”
The Trump administration has told Germany that intelligence-sharing could be limited if it proceeds with allowing Huawei to build Germany’s new mobile-internet systems.
The California Democrat was asked about a potential executive order to stop the company from selling advanced telecommunications equipment in the U.S.
Schiff said his committee previously investigated Huawei 11 years ago and had concern then “based on what we were able to learn.”
“Those concerns have only heightened over the years since,” he said. “While much of this I can’t discuss publicly, you know — I can say this. Huawei is not in a position to say ‘no’ to the Chinese government. It owes its existence and livelihood and future profitability to staying in the favor of the Chinese government.”
Schiff said that means if data are routed through China, or data are accessible through Huawei technology, “and the Chinese government asks for that — with no showing, no probable cause, no interest in privacy, not nothing — Huawei must comply.”
“And that is not a circumstance I think the United States or its allies should willingly put themselves in,” Schiff added.