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January 07, 2013

Two Chinese-Made Devices Removed from Los Alamos Nuclear Lab, More Removals Possible

By Ed Silverstein, TMCnet Contributor

A well-known U.S. nuclear lab has removed two pieces of technology equipment made in China out of national security anxiety.

The devices in use at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico were manufactured by H3C Technologies Co. of Hangzhou, China, according to Reuters News Service. They were “promptly replaced,” according to a government document. Other H3C devices may be in use at the lab, and will be replaced if and when discovered, the document adds.

Now owned by Hewlett Packard, H3C was formerly a joint venture between Huawei Technologies and 3Com (News - Alert) Corp.

Members of Congress have voiced worries about Huawei and its possible connection to the Chinese military and government. But Huawei denies it poses U.S. security risks. Related concerns were raised by the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

The devices at Los Alamos – where the U.S. military’s arsenal of nuclear weapons are maintained –  were related to switches for computer networks. The switches at the lab appear to control data flow, according to Newser.

“The exact number of Chinese-made switches installed at Los Alamos, how or when they were acquired, and whether they were placed in sensitive systems or pose any security risks, remains unclear,” Reuters (News - Alert) reported.

ZTE Corp is another Chinese telecom manufacturer, which has been the subject of concern among U.S. officials. ZTE Corp also says it doesn’t pose a security risk.

In October, the House Intelligence Committee said U.S. government systems shouldn’t include devices from Huawei (News - Alert) or ZTE.

There have been other controversies involving the two companies. During June, Zheng Shusheng stepped down as president at H3C Technologies Co., Ltd., which led to public attention, according to a report carried on TMCnet. In addition, a legal battle between ZTE and Huawei took place in 2011. ZTE sued Huawei for alleged patent infringement over fourth-generation (4G) LTE (News - Alert) (long term evolution) technology, TMCnet said.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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