The Secure Equipment Act of 2021 — bipartisan legislation that stops companies judged to be security threats from getting new equipment licenses, particularly from those linked to China — was signed by President Joe Biden on Thursday, November 11.
The Secure Equipment Act will ban the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from considering or issuing authorization for products from companies on the FCC’s “covered list,” which includes video surveillance manufacturers Dahua Technology and Hikvision, and telecommunications groups Huawei and ZTE.
The FCC is required to maintain the Covered List under the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act of 2019, which detailed particular criteria for determining what communications equipment or services pose an unacceptable risk to U.S. safety.
Last year, the FCC unanimously voted to formally classify both Huawei and ZTE as national security threats, with the agency citing their ties to the Chinese Communist Party and espionage concerns. The national security threat designation blocks U.S. telecommunications companies from using FCC funds to purchase products from these companies.
That same year, the FCC adopted new rules to require that U.S. telecommunications carriers rip and replace equipment provided by the covered companies. However, those rules only apply to equipment purchased with federal funding. The same equipment can still be used if purchased with private or non-federal government dollars.
The act breezed through the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives last month. The Senate passed the legislation unanimously while only four voted against it in the House of Representatives, with 420 votes in favor.
In announcing the bill’s signing, the White House thanked the sponsors, Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), along with the House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.).
Read more about the legislation and its implications by clicking here.
This article originally appeared on our sister publication Security Sales & Integration‘s website.
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