Huawei spies for China says ex CIA chief

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by Yusuf, Jul 19, 2013.

  1. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    I read part of this on FT. Its a subscribed article so no access or full details. Someone pls post if you have subscription.

    This is something that India has said and feared for years now. Even my BSNL modem is Huawei :(
     
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  3. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Even Britain edgy about Huawei

    Chinese telecoms company has a centre in Oxfordshire, known as the Cell, which will be at the heart of the review


    Huawei, which was founded by a former officer in the People’s Liberation Army, first became a major player in the UK in 2005. Photograph: Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images
    Staff and agencies

    A review is to be launched into the role of the Chinese telecoms company Huawei by a senior government security official, in the wake of a parliamentary report that raised concerns about the firm.

    Britain's national security adviser, Sir Kim Darroch, will review operations at the company's cyber-security evaluation centre – known as the Cell – in Banbury, Oxfordshire. He will report directly to the prime minister later this year.

    The parliamentary intelligence and security committee (ISC) raised concerns last month that Huawei's equipment could be used by Beijing to spy on the UK, and called for an urgent inquiry. The Cell site was set up at the company's expense to ensure the integrity of Huawei's products, which include routers used across the UK's fibre-optic cable network.

    A Cabinet Office spokesman said: "The government has carefully considered the ISC's report on foreign investment in the critical national infrastructure and its particular focus on managing new threats to the UK's telecommunications systems and networks. We take threats to our critical national infrastructure very seriously and need to be responsive to changes in a fast-moving and complex, globalised telecommunications marketplace. We have robust procedures in place to ensure confidence in the security of UK telecommunications networks."

    Huawei, which was founded by a former officer in the People's Liberation Army, first became a major player in the UK when it signed a deal to supply transmission equipment to BT in 2005. The ISC's report suggested that national security was potentially being put at risk through government fears of jeopardising trade links with powerful countries such as China.

    MPs warned of an unacceptable "stalemate" within Whitehall between security considerations and economic competitiveness, and called for the Banbury site to be put under the direct control of the GCHQ intelligence agency. The chancellor, George Osborne, responded by issuing a statement insisting his priority remained boosting trade with China, and pointedly welcomed the opening by Huawei of a new office in Reading.

    In a formal response to the report, the government reiterated its commitment to boosting trade links with China, adding it was "important that this balanced approach is taken". It backed the ISC's criticism of the way government dealt with the deal when it was being drawn up, conceding the processes considering national security issues at the time "were insufficiently robust", particularly the failure by officials to inform ministers about the deal for a year.

    It added: "The government does not agree with the committee's statement that there have been no improvements since then or that national security issues are overlooked. Indeed, the National Security Council, which was not in existence at the time of the BT/Huawei contract, can and does consider similar issues today in order to ensure [the] government's approach balances economic prosperity and commercial competitiveness with national security."

    Huawei said: "Huawei shares the same goal as the UK government and the ISC in raising the standards of cyber security in the UK and ensuring that network technology benefits UK consumers. Huawei is open to new ideas and ways of working to improve cyber security."

    http://m.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/18/huawei-cyber-security-investigaton-kim-darroch
     
  4. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Ok got the article for OP from another source.

    Late last year, allegations had surfaced regarding Chinese handset makers ZTE and Huawei, with claims being tossed around that they were spying on behalf of the Chinese government. Both makers rejected the claims, and Huawei went on to offer unrestricted access to its software code in an effort to prove its innocence. Nearly a year later, and now former CIA boss Michael Hayden has spoken out, stating that Huawei did provide information to the Chinese government.




    On October 17, a source had cropped up over at Reuters claiming that a White House review in the matter found no evidence indicating that Huawei was spying for China. The probe, according to the sources, had found risky vulnerabilities with the maker’s products, but no evidence that espionage was taking place. It was never specified whether those vulnerabilities were believed to be intentional.

    All was quiet on the matter for awhile, but now former CIA boss Michael Hayden has spoken up about the issue in a lengthy interview with the Australian Financial Review. When asked specifically about whether he’d ever had any “direct exposure” with Huawei, Hayden responded:

    Two or three years ago Huawei was trying to establish a pretty significant footprint here in the United States. And they were trying to get people like me – as the former head of NSA and the CIA – to endorse their presence in the US. To serve on their local board, or to have some other kind of commercial relationship with them.

    I reviewed Huawei’s briefing paper, which said all the right things. One could almost honestly judge that were actually trying to genuinely put my mind at ease.

    But God did not make enough briefing slides on Huawei to convince me that having them involved in our critical communications infrastructure was going to be okay. This is not blind prejudice on my part. This was my considered view based on a four-decade career as an intelligence officer.

    My conclusion was that, “No, it is simply not acceptable for Huawei to be creating the backbone of the domestic telecommunications network in the United States, period.” And frankly this is where I think the state has a role to play – to ensure we don’t make decisions that compromise the foundations of our national security.

    Following a brief discussion about the telecommunications industry, Hayden was asked outright whether he felt Huawei was a threat to the security of the United States and Australia, he said that he does. He also states that he believes there is “hard evidence” showing that the maker has engaged in espionage for China. He says it is his belief that, at a minimum, Huawei provided China with “intimate and extensive knowledge” on the telecommunications systems it works with.

    When asked if he knew of any instances of backdoors and other specific things, he repeatedly claimed being unable to provide answers and direct knowledge. What he does reveal, however, is very interesting, not only the topic of Huawei, but also of other recent happenings, including the PRISM leak and how it is viewed from someone who was so deeply entrenched within the system. You can read the entire interview yourself, which is fairly long, over at the AFR.

    http://www.slashgear.com/huawei-accused-of-spying-for-china-by-former-cia-boss-18291022/
     
  5. TrueSpirit

    TrueSpirit Senior Member Senior Member

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    @Yusuf : Request you to please rectify the typo in the thread title.

    I believe, you wanted to convey: Huawei spies for China but it is written as: Huawei spies or China

    It alters the whole meaning :)
     
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  6. boris

    boris Regular Member

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    Nothing new in that, the Chinese and their local companies are definitely into all this. I'd prefer Taiwanese,Japanese electronics over Chinese companies any given day.
     
  7. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    me too - my policy is to avoid lizard products as far as possible - i usually go for s. Korean or japanese products - these days french or euro products are also equally priced - stay clear of huawei, zte etc
     
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  8. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

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    That is very nice policy but useless. They just join the retailing market recently.
    The major customers of Huwei are not the ultimate customers like you, but telecom operators or large communication networks.
    So, you may be using Huwei's router for a very long time without knowing it.
     
  9. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    Even in countries where Huawei products are allowed to be sold to telecom operators, they are generally used only in the lowest layer of their network. So even if Huawei does manage to engineer a node to malfunction during periods of hostility, it will affect at best a small geographical area. That too will not last for long as these nodes have backups.

    The higher layer nodes are almost always designed by European or US companies. :)
     
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  10. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    Post the link and I will see if I can paste it.
     
  11. TrueSpirit

    TrueSpirit Senior Member Senior Member

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    @Yusuf

    Yup...my Airtel Datacard is Huawei as well...don't have much of a choice...do we ?
     
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