The headaches for Huawei Technologies Co. keep growing, fresh after the U.K. government said that it would conduct a review of the Chinese company’s cybersecurity arrangements and a former U.S. intelligence official reportedly accused it of spying for Beijing.
Since last year, Huawei, the world’s second-largest telecom equipment vendor after Sweden’s Ericsson
The latest to raise concerns about Huawei is Michael Hayden, a former head of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency, who told The Australian Financial Review in an interview published Friday that Huawei is likely to have spied for the Chinese government. The article quoted Mr. Hayden as saying that it was his “professional judgment” that Huawei supplied sensitive intelligence to Chinese officials.
Well of course it did. Huawei is responding abrasively, as it’s expected to, because it knows that it won’t get a response, but most tech companies answer to the governments of their own countries. Which is why the Snowden revelations weren’t really revelations to anyone who had been following security news.
The real problem here is that the US has become dependent on Chinese equipment for its information infrastructure and there’s little doubt what that means for national security or why most major defense secrets have already been stolen by China.
The House Intelligence Committee said that after a yearlong investigation it had come to the conclusion that the Chinese businesses, Huawei Technologies and ZTE Inc., were a national security threat because of their attempts to extract sensitive information from American companies and their loyalties to the Chinese government.
The companies sell telecommunications equipment needed to create and operate wireless networks, like the ones used by Verizon Wireless and AT&T. Many of the major suppliers of the equipment are based outside the United States, creating concerns here about the security of communications.
Those concerns are most acute about Huawei and ZTE because of their close ties to the Chinese government, which the committee said has heavily subsidized the companies.
And there we go.