Over the last month, the FCC has been accepting comments regarding its notice of proposed rulemaking, which considers possibly revoking previously issued authorizations for products from Dahua and other Covered List companies.
The comment period included public filings from a wide range of industry voices, from device suppliers to trade associations, who argued the proposal would be bad for their businesses and the economy as a whole, and questioned any meaningful contributions to the FCC’s expressed national security goals. Many urged the FCC to proceed no further with the FNPRM. Many comments expressed deep concerns with potential revocation of previously authorized equipment authorizations.
As part of our ongoing engagement with the FCC, Dahua submitted a public comment letter on April 6, 2023 to help inform the rulemaking process: https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/search/search-filings/filing/10407871025704.
In our submission, we made a number of arguments:
First, we have argued that the Commission should not adopt any further restrictions absent a specifically identified threat to US national security. In our view, the Congressional categorization of some Dahua equipment as posing a potential national security threat does not justify the FCC in imposing further restrictions on other Dahua products. In addition, we believe the Congressional determination to restrict future product authorizations does not create a basis for the FCC to revoke existing product authorizations for Dahua or other Covered List companies.
Second, we have underlined our view that the Commission should not extend its new equipment authorization rules to component parts. In our view, conflating finished equipment and components would contradict Congressional intent, since the relevant laws address only finished equipment products. We have also argued that placing restrictions on component parts would create serious and unjustified complications for manufacturers, the marketplace, and the Commission—without evidence for countervailing benefits to national security.
Third, we have argued that revoking existing authorizations would harm the American public and is not necessary to protect national security. A “rip-and-replace” program would be a costly and complex undertaking for the industry, the marketplace, and the Commission. In our view, there are less burdensome alternatives to promote the Commission’s objectives, while minimizing harmful impact to businesses and consumers across the country.
Fourth, we believe the proposal would have sudden, drastic and adverse impacts on the supply chain and consumers. In our view, the Commission should balance these consequences with national security objectives in a risk-weighted manner. If the Commission were to move forward with revoking any existing authorizations, we argue it should adopt an adequate transition period to ensure manufacturers, businesses, and consumers have sufficient time to prepare for any disruptions to network and security services.
Finally, we have pointed to our view that the FCC proposal to require equipment suppliers to provide additional detailed information regarding components would be burdensome and defeat confidentiality obligations. Instead, we believe the Commission should adopt a risk-based assessment framework to evaluate the potential security risks associated with “covered” equipment, conduct regular audits, and work with industry partners to establish voluntary standards.
At Dahua, we appreciate the chance to present our arguments to the FCC as part of this further notice of proposed rulemaking. In this case, we believe the FCC FNPRM goes beyond what US law allows, would harm businesses and consumers, and serves no meaningful national security purpose.