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[Slashdot] - FCC Failed To Monitor Chinese Telecoms For Almost 20 Years: Senate Report

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The Federal Communications Commission and other U.S. agencies have failed to properly oversee Chinese telecom companies that operate in the United States, according to a bipartisan Senate report released today. Ars Technica reports: After a year-long investigation, the staff report by the US Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations "found that the FCC and 'Team Telecom' -- an informal group comprised of officials from the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and Defenseâ"have failed to monitor these three Chinese government-owned carriers," a joint announcement by the subcommittee's Republican and Democratic leaders said. The three carriers the subcommittee referred to are China Telecom Americas (CTA), China Unicom Americas (CUA), and ComNet USA. The companies "operated in the U.S. for nearly 20 Years with little to no oversight from the federal government," the senators' announcement said. "The Chinese government engages in cyber and economic espionage efforts against the United States and may use telecommunications carriers operating in the United States to further these efforts," the report said. The report comes two months after the FCC stepped up its scrutiny of telecom companies controlled by the Chinese government. The FCC issued orders to China Telecom, China Unicom, ComNet, and ComNet owner Pacific Networks, directing them "to explain why the Commission should not start the process of revoking their domestic and international section authorizations enabling them to operate in the United States." But the FCC and other agencies had previously failed to exercise proper oversight of these companies, the Senate report said. The lack of oversight described in the report occurred during both Republican and Democratic administrations. "An FCC spokesman said the commission looks forward to reviewing the Senate report," according to a Reuters article today.

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