Some of you may have heard recently about the rumblings of the Chinese telecommunication giant, Huawei, possibly being guilty of espionage on behalf of China. The thought was that the equipment that was imported and sold in the US contained espionage capabilities, thus provoking thoughts of all out Cold War style tactics. I’m far from a tin foil type, but the thought is actually a little scary.
However, after an 18-month review by the White House, they’ve said that there is “no clear evidence” of spying by Huawei. This news comes from two unnamed sources that said the White House looked into reports of suspicious activity, with the help of intelligence agencies and other government departments, and queried nearly 1,000 telecom equipment buyers. The suspicion apparently began when the company gave very vague answers when responding to lawmakers’ questions regarding their equipment. However, after the review, no proof was found. The source even went so far as to say, “We would have found it if it were there.”
Bill Plummer, Huawei’s vice president for external affairs, said in a statement, “Huawei is not familiar with the review, but we are not surprised to hear that the White House has concluded there is no evidence of any Huawei involvement with any espionage or other non-commercial activities.” He went on to say, “These are, of course, the facts and they will remain such in the future — Huawei is a $32 billion independent multinational that would not jeopardize its success or the integrity of its customers’ networks for any government or third party. Ever.”
However, what’s important to note is that even though they may be cleared of espionage, at least for now, the report did mention that Huawei’s gear was still risky for companies to use because of “vulnerabilities that hackers could exploit.” No specifics were given beyond that statement, but I think we can see what they’re getting at. However, it wasn’t clear if the vulnerabilities were placed there deliberately or not. Short of some sort of internal confession, it’s likely that this won’t be proven. What are your thoughts on this matter? Nothing to worry about, or since the White House is involved, there is absolutely something to at least raise concern?