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Huawei refutes government espionage claims

Ken Hu, the deputy chairman of Huawei, has publicly decried allegations that the Chinese vendor breaches cyber security via hacking on behalf of the Chinese government.

“We can confirm we have never received any instructions or requests from any government or their agencies to change our positions, policies, procedures, hardware, software or employment practices or anything else, other than suggestions to improve our end-to-end cyber security capability,” said Hu.

He also noted that the vendor “has have never been asked to provide access to our technology, or provide any data or information on any citizen or organization to any government, or their agencies”.

The statement was prompted by a continuing suspicion from certain markets that Chinese suppliers may be linked to the country’s government. The US House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) recently asserted that “the risks associated with Huawei and ZTE’s provision of equipment to US critical infrastructure could undermine core US national-security interests”.

Meanwhile in the UK, the parliamentary Intelligence Security Committee has struck out against the way that Huawei has “embedded” itself in the UK’s critical national infrastructure (CNI).

Although the committee does not explicitly accuse Huawei of cyber hacking or other espionage, it notes that “the process for considering national security issues at that time [that BT commissioned Huawei as a vendor] was insufficiently robust”.

These concerns have had the strongest reaction in Australia, where the government has blocked any involvement by Huawei in the constructuion of the National Broadband Network.

 

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