A former member of both Republican and Democrat administrations
is concerned that two Chinese telecom giants pose major security
threats to the U.S.
A congressional investigation has discovered Huawei and ZTE
allegedly are using access privileges of its customers to steal
secrets and forward the information to Beijing.
Frank Vernuccio, who is editor-in-chief of the New York Analysis
of Policy & Government and maintains the House Intelligence
Committee's report, indicates the two telecom companies present
threats of economic and military espionage or cyber attacks.
"They are kind of like the fox in the henhouse," Vernuccio says.
"They install telecommunications equipment so whatever you use over
the telephone or over the Internet, if they have provided the
hardware or the software, they can use 'back doors' in their
systems to get information."
Vernuccio, also co-host of the New Rochelle-based radio program,
"... And Nothing But The Truth," said he is troubled that it was
not the Obama administration that launched the investigation of the
companies, but Congress. He contends some in the administration
wrongly compare the structure of Chinese businesses to U.S.
"The government in China is actually a senior partner in all
private enterprises, so they have access to the records. They can
use those companies, if they think necessary, for national defense
or any other national purposes they want," he explains.
"So when we allow a Chinese company to come in and deal with
sensitive equipment or sensitive positions, we are really getting a
little bit more than we bargained for."
Allegations of bribery or corruption, transactions with Iran,
and ties with China's military and the Communist Party are cited as
significant concerns about the two companies.