Science and Tech


FBI Director 'Deeply Concerned' About Some Foreign Tech Companies

FBI Director Christopher Wray told lawmakers Wednesday that he doesn't want foreign tech companies to access the U.S. telecommunications network.
Posted at 8:06 AM, May 17, 2018

FBI Director Christopher Wray said he's "deeply concerned" about foreign companies getting access to the U.S. telecommunications network. He was answering lawmakers' questions at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing Wednesday.

Wray wouldn't name names, but he did answer questions about ZTE — a Chinese tech company the Trump administration punished this year for violating sanctions on Iran and North Korea.

In April, the U.S. banned American companies from selling components to the Chinese tech firm. And in May, the Trump administration barred the company from selling products on military bases over concerns that the company could surveil the U.S. military with its devices. 

Those actions hit ZTE hard, and earlier this month, it shut down most of its company. President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday that he's going to work to help ZTE because of "too many jobs in China lost." 

On Wednesday, Wray said the FBI doesn't want foreign companies like that to gain positions of power in the U.S. telecommunications network. 

"That gives them the capacity to maliciously modify or steal information; that gives them the capacity to conduct undetected espionage; that gives them the capacity to exert pressure or control," Wray said.