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United States China Security The Military Politics

US Congress Rules Huawei a 'Security Threat' 186

Posted by timothy
from the q-in-tel-is-totally-a-different-story dept.
dgharmon writes with the lead from a story in the Brisbane Time: "Chinese telecom company Huawei poses a security threat to the United States and should be barred from US contracts and acquisitions, a yearlong congressional investigation has concluded. A draft of a report by the House Intelligence Committee said Huawei and another Chinese telecom, ZTE, 'cannot be trusted' to be free of influence from Beijing and could be used to undermine U.S. security."
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US Congress Rules Huawei a 'Security Threat'

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  • This is great! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Alex Belits (437) * on Monday October 08, 2012 @07:19AM (#41583187) Homepage

    Other government will eventually do the same to Microsoft, following the logic that US always accuses its enemies of everything it does.

  • First off i have a very hard time believing backdoors are built in the large networks they sell. In complex systems like that its next to impossible to hide things in the long run. Anything suspicious would have been found in the audits.

    This looks like a try at restricting import with arbitrary reasons without any substance behind them. I am sure many countries smile at this as they get to block American goods like GM corn etc citing safety reasons, and now they can use US own rhetoric.

  • Irony (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dr_Barnowl (709838) on Monday October 08, 2012 @07:29AM (#41583271)

    I'm told this is ironic because the reason that Huawei got started was because the Chinese did all sorts of experiments with Cisco gear and determined that they couldn't trust them because of all the backdoors they had to accommodate US agencies.

    The Chinese needed network gear they could trust, they'd been tearing the Cisco gear down for a while to check them for back doors, so they just went the whole hog and started their own router company.

    The main reason that the US *know* that the Huwaei gear has back doors in it is probably because they are the same back doors cloned from the Cisco gear, but with different encryption keys.

  • Re:Don't panic (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 08, 2012 @07:39AM (#41583329)

    If past actions are anything to go by this stance actually says "We know that our electronics cannot be trusted to be free from US influence and therefore we cannot assume that a foreign nations electronics will be."

  • by amiga3D (567632) on Monday October 08, 2012 @07:44AM (#41583377)

    Free trade? It's a slogan not a reality. Governments the world over subsidize their industries. If you think backdoors don't exist in systems like this you're very naive. If I had anything I was worried about keeping secret I'd never use anything I didn't compile inhouse after a long, serious search of the source.

  • Re:Don't panic (Score:5, Insightful)

    by javilon (99157) on Monday October 08, 2012 @07:45AM (#41583383) Homepage

    They are opening a can of worms.

    Obviously, the US has been doing exactly that. There are documented cases of back doors introduced into US software and hardware. It could bite them back with other countries using exactly the same argument against them.

    I do not fault the US for defending their interests. It is clear that China will use all opportunities available to them, exactly as US did. But they are going to face the same issues that countries like Iran face now. They can use foreign technology that is better than domestic products, or they can try to stop it from entering the country. The fact is that US is quickly becoming irrelevant in hardware manufacturing, so it is a difficult call.

    What seems clear is that this won't be good for the economy since it will be interpreted as tariffs by the other side.

  • by DarkOx (621550) on Monday October 08, 2012 @07:54AM (#41583445) Journal

    First off i have a very hard time believing backdoors are built in the large networks they sell

    Really? After stuxnet, flame, you think that?

    Fact is most of that network hardware gets a great deal less scrutiny than desktop software gets. A much smaller number of people use it directly, far fewer security folks get access to it.

    Even if backdoors are not deliberately inserted its beyond reason to think exploits don't exist somewhere. Now what would the Chinese government's security arm do if they discovered a useful reliable exploit? Probably exactly what our own did/does and create things like stuxnet. Oh and if you could work something like that into the network layer it would be way way harder to spot than at the application layer.

  • by MtViewGuy (197597) on Monday October 08, 2012 @08:02AM (#41583491)

    ....Is why they will have trouble selling their networking hardware in much of the world. If Huawei wasn't founded by a ex-Chinese military official, that might be a different story.

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Monday October 08, 2012 @08:02AM (#41583493) Journal

    First off i have a very hard time believing backdoors are built in the large networks they sell. In complex systems like that its next to impossible to hide things in the long run. Anything suspicious would have been found in the audits.

    I think you underestimate the creativity of the people who make networking gear.

    This looks like a try at restricting import with arbitrary reasons without any substance behind them. I am sure many countries smile at this as they get to block American goods like GM corn etc citing safety reasons, and now they can use US own rhetoric.

    That's fine. The US House Committee is claiming that Huawei and ZTE receive billions from the Chinese government and are able to subsidize their products with that money so that they can be the lowest bidder to foreign countries. That's not entirely arbitrary as they're not claiming the same thing against Foxconn or Asus. If you want to say Monsanto receives government subsidiaries as tax credits or whatever, you're probably right but so does almost every other international company headquartered out of the United States. Want to place an embargo on the United States? Go right ahead, Iran and Cuba seem to be doing okay. Personally, I think the safety concerns against GM corn are enough to block it and I think they should continue along that line of reasoning -- what economic conspiracy do you have for keeping GM corn out?

    This hearing was open [house.gov] and is completely available on YouTube if you want to rebut more specific claims by the committee. I like listening to the Huawei guy, he's pretty humorous, he says that they will not under any conditions jeopardize the integrity of their networks for any third party or government ... yeah, like you sell networking gear in China and you can say that? Please.

    Is the free trade not so fun anymore?

    Oh, give me a break. Free trade? Are you serious? It's not fun when the most populous country in the world is artificially manipulating its markets, controlling what its currency trades at internally and creating its own companies that are traipsing around claiming to be private companies ... christ, the tariffs and tax laws surrounding international business are so complicated, there's no point in calling any of this "free trade" in any sense of the words.

  • Re:This is great! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 08, 2012 @08:10AM (#41583551)

    And banning MS anywhere in the world would be bad how? If they switch to Linux and start talking about how much better it is the world would benefit.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 08, 2012 @09:14AM (#41584045)

    I really love the US American hypocresy, pressuring China to open their markets and they close their own markets.
    How you are going to gain their trust if you dont trust them.

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