March 26, 2018 / 2:45 PM / 9 months ago

FCC chairman proposes steps to protect U.S. communications networks, supply chains

WASHINGTON, March 26 (Reuters) - Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai on Monday said he was proposing new rules to bar the use of funds from a government program to purchase equipment or services from companies that pose a security threat to U.S. communications networks or the supply chain.

Pai's statement did not disclose what companies or countries prompted the proposal. On Friday, Pai said he shared the concerns of U.S. lawmakers about espionage threats from Chinese smartphone maker Huawei Technologies Co.

Pai said Monday that "hidden ‘back doors’ to our networks in routers, switches — and virtually any other type of telecommunications equipment— can provide an avenue for hostile governments to inject viruses, launch denial-of-service attacks, steal data, and more." The FCC will hold an initial vote on the proposal on April 17. (Reporting by David Shepardson)

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