Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik and Congressman Mike Gallagher (R-WI) today introduced the Foreign Adversary Communications Transparency (FACT) Act to counter the influence of China and other foreign adversaries on the United States’ telecommunications infrastructure.
Specifically, this bill would provide critical telecommunications transparency by requiring the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to publish a list of companies who hold FCC authorizations, licenses, or other grants of authority with over 10% or more ownership by foreign adversarial governments, including China, Russia, Iran, or North Korea.
“I’m working to shine a light on the malign influence of the Chinese Communist Party and our other foreign adversaries,” Stefanik said. “Allowing companies owned by China and our other foreign adversaries to have access to our critical infrastructure is playing with fire, and we must have transparency over the influence they can have over the lives of American citizens.”
“Despite the threat posed by Chinese Communist Party-directed telecommunications companies, many are still licensed to operate in the United States. Worse, while malign actors like Huawei and ZTE have received public scrutiny, other CCP-directed actors are currently flying below the radar. The Foreign Adversary Communications Transparency Act will strengthen our national security by providing badly-needed transparency and pave the way for further action against listed entities in the near future,” Gallagher said.
“I applaud Congresswoman Stefanik’s strong leadership and thoughtful work to counter the malign influence of the Chinese Communist Party and other authoritarian state actors. Her FACT Act would strengthen American’s national security. And I encourage Congress to move quickly in passing this common sense legislation,” said FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr. “It is vital that we provide a full and transparent accounting of every entity with ties back into the CCP—and the governments of other authoritarian regimes—that are operating inside America’s tech and telecom markets, yet there has never been a public disclosure when it comes to those networks of relationships. This only makes it more difficult for the public and private sector alike to assess the likelihood that those connections can be leveraged to harm America’s national security interests. We know that the CCP is engaged in a widespread and coordinated campaign to surveil Americans, and they are willing to use every tool at their disposal to advance their malign goals—indeed, one of the means by which the CCP does this is by developing and exploiting relationships within tech and telecom interests. Publishing a list of all entities with FCC authorizations that have covered relationships with authoritarian regimes would aid the FCC in carrying out its mission of advancing America’s national security interest. So I am grateful for Congresswoman Stefanik efforts to increase transparency in this area.”
In February, Stefanik, a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee and a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, introduced the Countering CCP Drones Act, legislation that would add Chinese drone company Da-Jiang Innovations (DJI) to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Covered List.
This week, two Chinese individuals were charged with attempting to obstruct the criminal prosecution of a China-based telecommunications company.
Read full text of the bill here.