A new group has surfaced to oppose the proposed merger of T-Mobile and Sprint. The non-profit, Protect America’s Wireless, formed last month, is comprised of foreign policy and national security professionals, including former U.S. State Department officials.
The group says it formed “amid revelations of Chinese infiltration of American computer networks.” In particular, the organization “aims to raise awareness of the potential national security issues raised by the Sprint/T-Mobile merger and to protect American wireless networks by ensuring these concerns are properly vetted while the merger is under scrutiny by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) and other U.S. agencies,” Protect America’s Wireless officials said yesterday.
The group called on President Trump, Congress, and the FCC to protect America’s national security “by denying these foreign interests access to America’s wireless communications.” Group member and former U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, said: “Huawei, ZTE and China telecom all work together in an ecosystem that is coordinated in a way that we would be absolutely naïve not to pay attention to.” Companies with “serious connections to Huawei and ZTE are building out in other places around the world.” The U.S. needs to look at “what that would mean to the threat to our systems and our intellectual property here in the United States. I hope this is a big consideration, and I know CFIUS is going to look at this, and look at this hard.”
On its website, unveiled Monday, the group states: “We must protect our networks from foreign spying.” It’s concerned the proposed transaction “could give countries like Saudi Arabia, China, Germany, and Japan direct access to our networks through the use of foreign-made networking equipment and billions of foreign money.”
November 6, 2018