Are the Chinese infiltrating global telecommunications networks? (*Huawei)

Spy Blog UK

Australian NBN

US refusal
So are the Chinese government (through Huawei) trying to infiltrate – with the potential to exploit – Western telecommunication networks or is this just more Sinophobia?

How do people feel about so much of there technology being so intimately involved with a nation whose ideology is so opposed to what they believe in?

I didn’t click on the links as my internet usage is spotty and I don’t feel like waiting to download. However, I’ll just add an anecdote that may shed some light.

When I first started practicing law, I was aiding in the negotiations for IT infrastructure (ATM backbone network to be precise) that hooked into China and around the world (well, for that part of the world that my Client cared about). One thing that the ISP provider didn’t want to be responsible for was what happened to the network in China. The fear was, though at the time I couldn’t find anything on it on the internet, that China was monitoring usage and if they didn’t like what was going through their country they would shut it down, or worse, repatriate it.

My work is more with IT business consulting and not so much on networks or hardware, so I haven’t re-visited this issue. The consultants here in India that my company works with is fearful of China repatriation, but more of a general matter of things, and not to anything specific.

Hmmm… worrying.

Though, like with most in-immediate issues – the impact of social media on the Middle-East, buying ‘cheap crap’ and China’s growth, dangers of nuclear power – people don’t seem too interested in this, now. But in less than a decade, Huawei have grown from dot in 2002 to cornering 20% of the world’s telecommunications infrastructure market; headed only by Nokia-Seimens (25%) and Ericsson (35%).

What’s of most concern however, should be the US govt’s apparent unwillinglness disclose exactly why they deem the company untrustworthy enough to deny it US contracts – what aren’t (can’t?) they tell the rest of us? Surely there’s more to this than the mere association of the company’s heads to the PLA…?

The Chinese have been the Number One security threat for a long time. Thus far they’ve been more interested in listening and learning.

Sounds like a convenient excuse for a spot of protectionism. Also, I don’t think you should single out particular countries, or assume that equipment made by domestic manufacturers does not leave you vulnerable to bad guys. Seems to me that the best defence would be redundant systems from multiple suppliers.

Huawei most likely has really significant IP and design issues. Because they grew in China and Africa, Huawei has been outside of effective IP infringement enforcement. This is probably one of the background reasons for keeping them out of the US.

Maybe, but the activities of the Chinese intelligence services have been persistent and real. Who knows when they’ll turn from listening to acting?