• Fri
  • Apr 25, 2014
  • Updated: 7:11am

Huawei

The world’s biggest telecom equipment maker, Huawei Technologies Co was sued by Cisco Systems in 2003 for allegedly infringing on its patents. In the US, security officials have accused it of allowing unauthorized access by the Chinese People's Liberation Army through its equipment. US political opposition forced Huawei to withdraw its purchase of 3Leaf systems in 2010.

NewsChina

Ex-CIA chief Hayden claims Huawei spies for Chinese state

PUBLISHED : Friday, 19 July, 2013, 11:35am
UPDATED : Saturday, 20 July, 2013, 2:24am

Michael Hayden, the former head of the CIA and National Security Agency, said yesterday it "goes without saying" that Chinese telecoms giant Huawei spies for Beijing.

Huawei, however, strongly denied Hayden's allegations.

Speaking to the Australian Financial Review, Hayden claimed China was engaged in unrestricted espionage against the West and said it was his belief that Huawei would have shared information with state agencies.

Huawei meets the communication needs of more than a third of the planet and our customers have the right to know what these unsubstantiated concerns are

Asked whether Huawei represented an unambiguous national security threat to the US and Australia, Hayden replied: "Yes, I believe it does."

Britain, the US and Australia have all raised concerns that Huawei's alleged ties to the Chinese state could see their telecoms infrastructure used for spying and cyberattacks.

Huawei's global cybersecurity officer John Suffolk, who has previously described the company as the "piggy in the middle" of the broader dispute over hacking between China and the United States, reportedly dismissed Hayden's comments. as tired, unsubstantiated and defamatory.

"It's time to put up or shut up," said Suffolk. Huawei's global cyber security officer, told the newspaper.

He described the comments made by Hayden as "tired, unsubstantiated defamatory remarks" and challenged him and other critics to present any evidence publicly.

"Huawei meets the communication needs of more than a third of the planet and our customers have the right to know what these unsubstantiated concerns are," Suffolk said.

The US Congress last year called for its exclusion from US government contracts. It was also barred from bidding for contracts to build Australia's national broadband network.

Hayden, a retired general, said he believed Western intelligence networks had hard evidence that Huawei had spied on behalf of the Chinese state.

"I have no reason to question the belief that's the case," said Hayden, who retired from the CIA in 2009 and who prior to that served as head of the National Security Agency (NSA).

"That's my professional judgment. But as the former director of the NSA, I cannot comment on specific instances of espionage or any operational matters.

"At a minimum, Huawei would have shared with the Chinese state intimate and extensive knowledge of the foreign telecommunications systems it is involved with. I think that goes without saying."

Hayden said Huawei had approached him several years ago to be on the firm's American board, but failed to convince him it should be involved in critical communications infrastructure.

"This is not blind prejudice on my part. This was my considered view based on a four-decade career as an intelligence officer," he said.

"My conclusion was that it is simply not acceptable for Huawei to be creating the backbone of the domestic telecommunications network in the US."

Hayden is a director of Motorola Solutions, which provides radios, smart tags, barcode scanners and safety products. Huawei and Motorola Solutions had previously been engaged in intellectual property disputes for a number of years.

Hayden's remarks came a day after Britain announced it would review security at a cyber centre in England run by Huawei to ensure the British telecommunications network is protected.

The British government asked its National Security Adviser Kim Darroch to review the workings of a Huawei facility known as "the Cell".

Huawei, the world's second-largest maker of equipment for phone networks after Ericsson, was founded by Ren Zhengfei in 1987 after retiring from the Chinese military in 1983.

Additional reporting by Associated Press

Share

Related topics

19

This article is now closed to comments

markyu
Seriously, show the world the hard evidence to silence all others or shut the .. up.
What a farce the US is.
babyhenry
Well there is more hard evidence that the US is using her tech companies to spy on others than they have on Huawei. Maybe thats why all the words you are using is "belief" "maybe" , etc.... how about hard evidence? O right you don't have any. Maybe Huawei does gets force to work China's intelligence agency like google and apple, etc...... but hey talking is always cheap and coming from the USA? Gimme a break......
The US is like a Bully in the playground trying to point finger at other bullies and shamelessly tries to pretend that itself is not bully but when in fact he had beaten up more kids than the other bullies combined. Well he always have a "legitimate" reason.
rvto
Does he mean ' “goes without saying” that USA telecoms giant Cisco spies for Washington" ??'.
chaz_hen
And if Cisco does, China is free to lock them out. But they don't.
jayb
Cisco's china market share is small compared to Huawei.
yty07
That's why the Chinese Gov't develops their own Linux and promote Baidu and similar as replacements to Windows and Google. But it still takes time for these products to be mature enough to compete the Americans'. When the day comes, it will make no difference to the rest of the world as we all will just move from being spied by one country to another one.
Hollander323
The Americans are very smart, they sent Google, Microsoft and many others to spy on the governments and corporations the world over. With such wisdom, they of course would not allow other people to play the same tricks on them. No way Huawei......
bolshoi
It also goes without saying that American firms such as Google and Apple provide data to their government (as revealed by Snowden), thereby spying for the United States. These companies are also threats to our national security.
jayb
they don't need to "provide". in "Shadow Factory" by long time NSA investigative reporter, James Bamford who wrote that NSA actually taps into undersea fiber optic cables (where over 90% of global communication is transmitted). as such, every piece of information, data, signal is sent to NSA for storage, compilation and analysis. Bamford also explained how fiber optic cable is split in two, one goes to on site NSA "secret room" at telco, one go to customers. the argument is US as "force of good" vs China "force of evil".

Pages

Login

SCMP.com Account

or