China is imbedding ‘spy tech’ in US smart devices

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When police, firefighters and other first responders across the U.S. rush to emergencies, they rely on special devices to avoid overwhelmed public networks.

Chinese spies could be listening in.

Chinese-made components in devices certified for use on the federally managed FirstNet public safety network are designed to be able to send information back to servers in China and it’s not clear how effective the security measures to prevent that are, according to engineers and industry sources with knowledge of the equipment who spoke to Newsweek. The components, or cellular connectivity modules, are generally used to connect objects, whether cars or medical equipment, to the internet.

The growing ubiquity of Chinese cellular connectivity modules in these and other devices in the so-called Internet of Things has prompted concerns in Congress, including a letter from the House Select Committee on Strategic Competition between the U.S. and the Chinese Communist Party urging regulators to address the potential security risk. It also promises to open a new front in the increasingly complicated tussle over technology between Washington and Beijing.



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Chuck comes from a lineage of journalism. He has written for some of the webs most popular news sites. He enjoys spending time outdoors, bull riding, and collecting old vinyl records. Roll Tide!