US LAWMAKERS have urged Google to end its "strategic partnership" with Huawei, re-spouting the line that the Chinese firm poses a threat to US national security.
In a letter addressed to Google CEO Sundar Pachai, a group of mostly Republican legislators cast shade over Google's relationship with Huawei, who made the Nexus 6P, and has urged the tech giant to cut ties with the company.
The letter - signed by Republican Senators Tom Cotton and Marco Rubio, Republican Congresspeople Mike Conway and Liz Cheney, and Democratic Congressperson Dutch Rupperberge - voices the lawmakers' "deep concern" about the partnership, and urges Google to consider the "grave risks" of working with a company that has "extensive ties with the Chinese Communist Party."
"This partnership between Google and Huawei could pose a serious risk to US national security and American consumers," the letter continues.
These hyberbolic concerns follow warnings from US intelligence agencies, which have long peddled the line that Huawei devices, along with those from fellow Chinese firm ZTE, allow the Chinese government to snoop communications - without providing any evidence.
Earlier this year, for example, heads of the CIA, FBI, NSA and the director of national intelligence warned American citizens not to use smartphones from the Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE. Just weeks later the Pentagon ordered retail outlets on US military bases to stop selling Huawei and ZTE devices, claiming they post an "unacceptable risk" to the department's personnel, information and mission.
However, it appears the lawmakers are also bitter about Google's decision not to renew its contract for Project Maven, a controversial program that used Google's AI to analyse drone footage for the Pentagon.
"We urge you to reconsider Google's partnership with Huawei, particularly since your company recently refused to renew a key research partnership, Project Maven, with the Department of Defense," the shady letter goes on.
"While we retreat that Google did not want to continue a long and fruitful tradition of collaboration between the military and technology companies, we ar even more disappointed that Google is apparently more willing to support the Chinese Communist Party.
Google has yet to comment, but told Reuters that the "company looked forward to responding." Given the shade thrown in the US lawmakers' letter, so do we... µ
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