The US government has imposed restrictions on some Chinese companies under the pretext of threats to US security. In some cases, this means that US companies are barred from doing business with those Chinese companies unless they first obtain a license to do so. In other cases, this means that the US government itself is prohibited from buying supplies from those companies.
The Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Electronic Policy said that when it comes to restrictions on Chinese technology, the label “Made in China” isn’t alone in invoking such restrictions — it’s what the technology was designed for.
said Miki Eoyang, who spoke Tuesday during a panel discussion in Washington, D.C. hosted by the think-tank Third Way. “It’s really about the difference in technology approaches and what that means for us from a security perspective.”
Euyang said some Chinese-made technologies, even those destined for worldwide export, include tools that the Chinese Communist Party wants to put in place to allow them to control their population.
Euyang said his colleagues in Lithuania, for example, have confirmed through technical analysis that some Chinese devices have built-in censorship technology.
“It emits a certain type of device suppression, an external expansion of [China’s] The internal need to control the population and what the residents say and think. The data on the Americans has not been returned to China.”
Euyang said the technology, which has censorship capabilities and sends data back to the Chinese government, poses a security risk to the US government and military.
“From the Department of Defense’s perspective, this becomes a national security risk – US government employee data to China is a challenge,” she said.
The danger, she said, is also what happens if trusted allies of the United States use technology that cannot be trusted. When that happens, the ability to maintain partnerships is also at risk.
“If our allies are embracing Chinese network technology, that puts a lid on how much cooperation we can have with them and how much information we can share with them because of our concerns about visibility on the networks,” she said. “This isn’t just about the labels of one country versus another. It’s about the kind of technology we’re talking about here that poses a security risk to the United States.”