SAM BYFORD. Huawei chairman accuses American critics of hypocrisy over NSA hacks (The Verge 27.2.2019)

Huawei’s rotating chairman Guo Ping has gone on the offensive this week at Mobile World Congress, following continued pressure on US allies to drop the Chinese telecoms giant over national security fears. 

In a strident on-stage speech and a Financial Times editorial, Guo is escalating Huawei’s side of the story by explicitly calling out the NSA, which Edward Snowden has shown to have hacked Huawei in the past, while presenting his company as a more secure option for the rest of the world.

“If the NSA wants to modify routers or switches in order to eavesdrop, a Chinese company will be unlikely to co-operate,” Guo says in the FT, citing a leaked NSA document that said the agency wanted “to make sure that we know how to exploit these [Huawei] products.” Guo argues that his company “hampers US efforts to spy on whomever it wants,” reiterating its position that “Huawei has not and will never plant backdoors.”

Spiegel report from 2014 said that the NSA had succeeded in accessing the source code of various Huawei products as well as email messages from founder Ren Zhengfei. “We currently have good access and so much data that we don’t know what to do with it,” one document read.

The US, for its part, has also been pressing its security concerns to allies at MWC this week. “Threats to US networks have a direct bearing on the security of our allies just as threats to our allies networks have a direct bearing on the security of our networks,” saidState Department ambassador for cyber and international communications Robert Strayer. “Do you want to have a system that is potentially compromised by the Chinese government or do you want to go with a secure alternative?” Strayer asks, further arguing that Chinese law “requires firms to support and assist Beijing’s vast security apparatus.”

But the US is yet to present evidence of any coordinated hacking by Huawei, and Vodafone CEO Nick Read — who runs the largest mobile carrier in the Western world — remains unconvinced, saying that removing Huawei equipment would be “hugely disruptive” to 5G rollouts. “I would at this stage prefer to be working with governments and securities on a national basis and making sure we have a fact-based conversation,” he said at an MWC press conference.

Although the US and Huawei have tangled on this topic for many years, the issue has resurfaced as countries start to build out their 5G networks. Huawei is undoubtedly one of the technical leaders in the field, alongside Europe’s Nokia and Ericsson, and is seen to be competitive on price. Its supposedly employee-owned structure is murky, however, and Ren’s former association with the People’s Liberation Army has continued to cast doubt over the company. The company also faces US federal charges for allegedly stealing intellectual property from T-Mobile as part of an alleged bonus program that incentivized Huawei employees to lift confidential information from other companies.

But Guo’s comments this week show Huawei taking a more headstrong approach to the national security debate. “The fusillade being directed at Huawei is the direct result of Washington’s realization that the US has fallen behind in developing a strategically important technology,” he claims. “The global campaign against Huawei has little to do with security, and everything to do with America’s desire to suppress a rising technological competitor.”

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1 Response to SAM BYFORD. Huawei chairman accuses American critics of hypocrisy over NSA hacks (The Verge 27.2.2019)

  1. mcpherson robert says:

    Edward Snowden probably had more than would his Vodaphone or Huawei connection drop out — when his contract was also directing punitive missile vision and coordinates –to the rousing fox and hound –spectacles of blooding successes.

    Upon the obvious who’d relish such meaningful employment (unless a Canadian snow plow or igloo ‘decorative’ Artiste )–then by FT reports -the NCSC will ice the only available fact cake -that all can be mitigated.
    And unless the next rousing blood stirring can come up with the Russian population are concentrated at Dover , the Muslims are Radio Caroline militarising in the Channel , or the Swedes are direct missile-ing us –the entire 5G and apolitical TRUTH –will be managed away –to avoid the economic liability that compressed mobile tower relayers are European Court of Justice -are ‘probably mutagenic ‘.

    Rather than the American known –there is NO EMF established safety thresholds.

    Addendum:

    If America can have an attacked GHQ (and the dutious leaders are satisfied a sedan sized hole is a 747 that by rational law leaves no debris)–then we can have The National Health –and those who map an entire island by citizen number and proximity to tower relay stations and transmitters with the recorded numbers of hospital admissions –must be the Commons.

    Disturbed is — how a piece of copper wire becomes weaved– as the whole world ( ??)

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