Huawei Maintains Innocence regarding Espionage Claims

by Matt Klassen on October 21, 2013

Chinese telecom giant Huawei, long suspected of being an intelligence collection front for the Chinese government, has once again gone public to dismiss all allegations of spying and espionage, taking the opportunity for a backhanded jab at its American counterparts as well.

You’ll remember that Huawei and its fellow Chinese telecom company ZTE were fingered in a U.S. House Intelligence Committee report last year that labelled both as threats to national security and warned American companies from doing business with either. Of course the continually leaked reports from whistleblower Edward Snowden have since ironically detailed the American governments own connection to its telecom sector, and its nefarious methods for gathering intelligence through American companies.

With that in mind, in a white paper report (PDF) released late last week Huawei once again categorically denied ever being asked by any government to divulge information of any kind, meaning anyone who is concerned about governments meddling in telecommunications should be more worried about Washington’s interference with U.S. companies than Beijing’s interference with Huawei.

“We can confirm that 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,” Ken Hu, deputy chairman of Huawei’s board, wrote in the paper. “We can confirm that we 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 45-page report comes as Huawei’s second concerted attempt to distance itself from allegations of espionage and any untoward connection to the Chinese government, the first made last year when this whole controversy started. The company’s Global Cyber Security Officer, John Suffolk, added this is a separate statement:

“It is time to press the reset button on the security challenge and ask ourselves if we wish the future to be different from the past, and indeed today, in what way will we work together to define and agree new norms of behaviour, new standards, new laws and create a new realism in the balance between privacy and security,” adding that “At Huawei, when we consider security, we do not just consider addressing yesterday’s problems, or even the problems we experience today, rather, we focus equally on laying down the foundations for securing tomorrow’s world, a world that is dramatically different to what it is today.”

Whether any of this translates into renewed business opportunities in America, Canada, the UK or Australia remains to be seen, as while I have remained a firm supporter of Huawei in this communist witch-hunt (at least until I see solid evidence to the contrary), I have to think that American Intelligence and global telecom will view these statements in a distinctly Shakespearian eye, methinks thou dost protest too much.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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