Last year, the Biden administration signed the Secure Equipment Act aimed at blocking the authorization of network licenses by several Chinese companies whose hardware has been identified as a national security threat. Today the FCC announced that this is the case to officially implement this judgment, meaning some future devices from Huawei, ZTE, Hytera, Hikvision, and Dahua will not be approved for sale in the US. Existing devices from these companies, all listed under the FCC’s Covered List are not affected by the law.
“The FCC is committed to protecting our national security by ensuring that untrusted communications devices are not authorized for use within our borders, and we continue that work here,” FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a statement Explanation. “These new rules are an important part of our ongoing efforts to protect the American people from national security threats related to telecommunications.”
To be clear, the FCC is not completely blocked Everyone Hardware from these companies. And for some, like Hytera, Hikvision and Dahua, Rosenworcel writes that it specifically focuses on equipment related to “the purpose of public safety, security of government facilities, physical surveillance of critical infrastructure, and other purposes of national security.” If these companies can demonstrate that they are not marketing these devices for government use — for example, by targeting them at consumers instead — they may be able to get approval from the FCC.