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Huawei and ZTE smartphones banned from U.S. military bases

Staff Writer |
Retailers on U.S. military bases around the world have been ordered to stop selling Huawei and ZTE smartphones over fears that they could be used for spying.

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"Huawei and ZTE devices may pose an unacceptable risk to the department's personnel, information and mission," Army Major Dave Eastburn told The Wall Street Journal, justifying the ban.

Eastburn continued: "In light of this information, it was not prudent for the Department's exchanges to continue selling them."

While personnel can buy Huawei and ZTE devices for personal use, they "should be mindful of the security risks posed by the use" of Huawei and ZTE kit, he added, but suggested that the Pentagon was considering a military-wide advisory regarding the purchase or use of the devices is necessary, he said.

The WSJ went on to cite an anonymous source who claimed that U.S. military leaders are concerned that the Chinese government could order the two companies to create backdoors in order to track soldiers' movements or snoop on their communications, although both Huawei and ZTE have vehemently denied the possibility.

Commenting on the military ban, a Huawei spokesperson said: "Huawei's products are sold in 170 countries worldwide and meet the highest standards of security, privacy and engineering in every country we operate globally including the U.S."


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