Washington: President Donald Trump has declared a national emergency in order to protect the US communications network from “foreign adversaries”. The Executive order was passed to ensure that the government deals with “the threat posed by the unrestricted acquisition or use in the United States of information and communications technology”.
Thus the federal government is entrusted with the powers to restrict US companies from carrying out business transactions with certain foreign tech suppliers who pose an unacceptable risk to the national security, according to a statement by White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders. The White House further stated that President Trump had signed the executive order as “part of his commitment to protecting the information and communications technology and services” of the US.
The White House statement read: “The President has made it clear that this Administration will do what it takes to keep America safe and prosperous, and to protect America from foreign adversaries who are actively and increasingly creating and exploiting vulnerabilities in information and communications technology infrastructure and services in the United States,”
“This Executive Order declares a national emergency with respect to the threats against information and communications technology and services in the United States and delegates authority to the Secretary of Commerce to prohibit transactions posing an unacceptable risk to the national security,’ it added.
Some reports claimed that Trump’s order is directed at Chinese telecom major Huawei. US believes that Huawei’s equipment could be used by China for surveillance. However, the world’s third largest smartphone maker has repeatedly rubbished these allegations. Last year, Trump signed a bill that barred the US government and its contractors from using components from Huawei and several other Chinese communications companies.
Since last September, the US Justice Department has accused Chinese hackers besides certain companies like ZTE and Huawei for allegedly acting as spies for the Chinese government.
(With agency inputs)