Last week a US House Intelligence Committee report declared Huawei and ZTE national security risks after an 18-month probe. The White House is standing by that conclusion, but at the same time, it declared that it’s not the safest bet to use Huawei equipment, spying or no spying.
And the verdict is out as to whether Huawei, the second-biggest supplier of networking gear in the world, is totally innocent or just playing dumb. There are security vulnerabilities placed in its products that could have been placed there on purpose and there have been reports of suspicious activity, just no hard evidence of spying.
But this fear of this Chinese companies probably won’t stop anytime soon — US officials involved in these investigations have made mention of a secret “annex” of information that could suggest they really do have evidence of shady dealings from Huawei. But perhaps it’s too sensitive to release. And then again, there’s always the chance that we just have this overblown fear of China and there’s nothing sketchy going on, but in spite of the White House’s report, that’s starting to seem less and less likely.
Huawei became a household name in Australia for all the wrong reasons earlier this year after the Prime Minister and the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, acting on information from ASIO, declared that Huawei was unfit to bid for any National Broadband Network tenders. Why? We’re not sure yet as ASIO won’t release the intelligence for fear of damaging the country’s relationship with China, but needless to say, it’s to do with “national security”. [Reuters]