China Telecom’s US subsidiary argued any move to terminate an interconnection licence in the country would be unlawful, after officials pressed the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to block the company on security grounds.
In a filing, China Telecom Americas’ (CTA) lawyers said any move to withdraw its permit without the opportunity to put its case to a judge would contravene its “constitutionally protected liberties,” and damage its reputation.
The lawyers asked the FCC to confirm no action will be taken until CTA is notified of the allegations against it and given a chance to respond.
Its request comes after the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, Defence, State and Commerce on 9 April jointly urged the FCC to withdraw CTA’s authorisation, which it held since 2007.
In a statement, the agencies cited “substantial and unacceptable national security and law enforcement risks” associated with the company’s operations. They pointed to concerns it is vulnerable to Chinese government influence, and alleged the company made inaccurate statements about its cybersecurity practices and where it stored US records.
The recommendation came less than a week after US President Donald Trump ordered the creation of a special committee to review telecoms licences and applications to pinpoint potential national security threats.
While the committee provides recommendations, the FCC has the final say.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back