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57 Federal Communications Law Journal 457 (2005)


Global economic integration creates new risks for national security. Foreign ownership of telecommunications service providers is an area of expanding concern. Foreign ownership could multiply opportunities for espionage by increasing foreign entities' access to U.S. communications and networks as well as increasing the complexity of defenders' tasks. Foreign ownership could make law enforcement communications interception more difficult. Foreign ownership could also increase the ability of a potential opponent to disrupt critical infrastructure and the services the foreign-controlled entities provide. These concerns create interest in improving existing processes for managing the risks associated with foreign ownership--such responsibility principally lies with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States ("CFIUS")--and in developing new methods or authorities to mitigate risk. This Article analyzes how to manage and preserve communications interception capabilities and defend against potential service disruptions or intelligence activities in a period of integrated, global telecommunications enterprises where foreign ownership of, or participation in, national networks, is increasingly routine.