Departing FCC Chair issues China warning

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FCC Chairman Ajit Pai used his departing comments to issue a warning about China’s role in potential espionage and threats to networks.

Pai stepped down from his role just hours before new US President Joe Biden was sworn in. In his final statement he told the Reuters press agency that there is a wide array of worrying activity from China which included the “injection of malware into networks here in the United States or around the world. There are a number of bad things that can happen when insecure equipment is used to handle sensitive information.”

During his four years running the FCC, he has continually objected to China’s access to the US and he refused to license China Mobile for operation in the US and was seeking to revoke licences held by China Telecom, China Unicom and a pair of subsidiary companies owned by CITIC. CITIC owns a major stake in AsiaSat and there’s a Chinese presence with 6.73 per cent of Eutelsat via China Investment Corp.

Pai told Reuters: “The Chinese Communist Party has a very determined world view. They want to dominate this space and exert their will – even beyond their own borders. That is a serious threat not just to Internet freedom but to national security for us and for many of our allies.”

The Biden administration has appointed Jessica Rosenworcel as Acting Chairwoman of the FCC.


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