Huawei takes the US FCC to court

Legal gavel and smartphone

The US telecoms regulator has moved to block federal funds being spent with Huawei and the Chinese kit vendor reckons that’s unlawful.

Huawei has filed a petition with the US Court of Appeals, requesting it to find the FCC move unlawful because it failed to follow basic due process. In free and open societies due process is a vital concept to protect private individuals and organisations from an oppressive state. It should ensure that everyone gets the same treatment under the law and prescribe the legal process that ideally should feature evidence of alleged crimes at some stage.

Huawei’s assertion is that the FCC has taken this action against it unilaterally and without any due process. Furthermore Huawei continues to insist that the US has yet to present any concrete evidence of the security threat it’s accused of posing. Since that security threat is the stated reason behind the FCC banning any federal funds being spent with Huawei, that’s another reason why it reckons the move is unlawful.

“The FCC claims that Huawei is a security threat, but the FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, has not provided any evidence,” said Huawei’s Chief Legal Officer, Dr. Song Liuping, at a press conference. “This is a common trend in Washington these days. ‘Huawei is a Chinese company’, that’s his only excuse. He has tried to spread fear about Huawei. He uses words like ‘backdoors’ to scare people. But they offer no proof.”

He went on to say how much Huawei wants to help the US with rural connectivity and how harmful to rural Americans actions like this are. He noted that Ericsson and Nokia manufacture kit in China too and even quoted Bill Gates’ criticism of a blanket suspicion of everything that comes from China. Finally he reasserted Huawei’s position that all this US aggro is to do with politics rather than security.

There does seem to have been a suspension of due process when it comes to Huawei having been found guilty as charged without evidence, trial, etc. It’s also hard to avoid the conclusion that Huawei has become a bargaining chip in the broader geopolitical tussle between the US and China. The US likes to think of itself as the land of the free, but due process is an essential prerequisite to freedom and shouldn’t be suspended for any reason.

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