Rules approved to restrict telecom products deemed security risks

2019/04/19 23:07:04 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Rules approved to restrict telecom products deemed security risks

Taipei, April 19 (CNA) Guidelines restricting the use in government agencies of telecommunication equipment that may endanger national security were approved Thursday after some research units decided to ban products from China's Huawei earlier this year.

The guidelines got the nod from Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) after several months of deliberation, and agencies at the central and local government levels were formally notified, Cabinet spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka said at a press conference.

The Executive Yuan announced its intention to establish the guidelines as early as January, after Western countries tried to squeeze China-based telecommunications brand Huawei out of their markets.

Those countries cited national security concerns over allegations that Huawei could use its products and equipment to engage in espionage in their countries.

A specific list of dangerous brands will be announced in three months at the earliest after each government agency provides its own inventory of questionable equipment procured from areas that pose a threat, according to Kolas.

Though the guidelines seemed targeted at China, Kolas said that was not the case, indicating that questionable items could come from other countries.

According to Kolas, the guidelines cover the purchases of central government agencies, local government agencies, government-owned enterprises, administrative institutions, public schools, crucial infrastructure providers and foundations supported by the government, but do not cover private sector and individual purchases.

Crucial infrastructure refers to water, energy, communications and transportation networks, financial services, technology parks, government agencies and emergency medical services.

Products to be regulated include servers, webcams, drones, cloud services, core networking hardware, computer software, anti-virus software, government-outsourced operating systems, outsourced consulting services and software development systems.

Under the new rules, equipment deemed questionable that is already found in government offices should not be connected to government networks and should not be used for government data processing or storage, Kolas said.

The move came after the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) and the Institute for Information Industry (III), both government-sponsored research groups, announced the ban of devices made by Huawei in January.

(By Elaine Hou and Emerson Lim)
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