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Former Pentagon Analyst: China Has Backdoors To 80% of Telecoms 240

An anonymous reader writes "A former Pentagon analyst reports the Chinese government has 'pervasive access' to about 80 percent of the world's communications, and it is looking currently to nail down the remaining 20 percent. Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE Corporation are reportedly to blame for the industrial espionage. 'Not only do Huawei and ZTE power telecom infrastructure all around the world, but they're still growing. The two firms are the main beneficiaries for telecommunication projects taking place in Malaysia with DiGi, Globe in the Philippines, Megafon in Russia, Etisalat in the United Arab Emirates, America Movil in a number of countries, Tele Norte in Brazil, and Reliance in India.'"
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Former Pentagon Analyst: China Has Backdoors To 80% of Telecoms

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  • Re:Wait, what? (Score:5, Informative)

    by gtall ( 79522 ) on Saturday July 14, 2012 @08:26PM (#40652275)

    Apparently, he writes stuff for www.wnd.com...kind of hard to tell what they are but they seem to be a net media company. Anyhow, the fellow saying these things, Michael Maloof, seems to be saying a lot of things on WND. It is hard to believe that he'd be revealing secret information because he'd be arrested for that sort of thing. So maybe he's just running off at that mouth? It wouldn't surprise me that Huawei (I think's that's pronounced Way-Way) has back doors in their equipment given their relationships with the PLA.

    So at least on the surface your knee-jerk reaction appears to be unsubstantiated, he's not overtly working for a defense contractor.

  • Re:Wait, what? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 14, 2012 @09:28PM (#40652601)

    National Enquirer, the "non-credible" news source that first ran the story on John Edward's affair and child out of his marriage while on the campaign trail. The same news source that broke the story on Jessie Jackson's illegitimate child that he was funnelling hundreds of thousands from his organization to keep the mother quiet.

    While 10 years ago I would have agreed with that comment of yours, they are now more accurate and truthful than NBC has been over the last few years. NBC had both of those stories I listed, but decided to bury them leaving the Enquirer the only news outlet that would run them, and both turned out completely accurate.

  • Re:FUD ? (Score:5, Informative)

    by hjf ( 703092 ) on Saturday July 14, 2012 @09:32PM (#40652619) Homepage

    So you buy Cisco and are subject to US backdoors.

  • by Sarten-X ( 1102295 ) on Saturday July 14, 2012 @10:11PM (#40652791) Homepage

    China executes roughly 5000-8000 [hrw.org] people each year for various crimes. The United States has been declining since 1999, and is currently somewhere around 40 [deathpenaltyinfo.org] per year. Accounting for (rather than ignoring) scale, China executes about 30 to 40 times as much of its own population as the United States. Of course, that's just one metric, but it's pretty illustrative.

    China is big, but it's not big enough to dilute its atrocities.

  • by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Saturday July 14, 2012 @11:41PM (#40653155)

    I thought it was pretty common knowledge that Huawei and ZTE were run and funded by the Chinese Military.

    Hopefully it will soon be common knowledge that a lot of industries in China are run and funded by the Chinese Military so this connection really means nothing in isolation. They are probably about as big and diversified in their holdings as coca-cola these days if not bigger, and 99% of the time they are in it for the money. Those childrens toys made by a company owned by the Chinese Military are not there so they can spy on our kids, they are there to help pay for a new aircraft carrier. The separation of state and private companies that we are used to seeing in democracies is instead a tangled web in China, with odd gaps such as entire huge open cut coal mines with thousands of miners that the government has zero involvement with (to the point where they are not even on a map, let alone taxed).

  • by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Sunday July 15, 2012 @12:48AM (#40653377) Journal
    No. The communist invasion and takeover of China did not last that long. In fact, it was over in 1949. From 1949 until about 1979, the Chinese were gutted by the communist party. In many ways, it was worse than stalinism. To this day, the Chinese communist party still runs with a constitution that says what rights the citizen has (which are VERY limited) and that all else, belongs to the state. More importantly, China runs roughshod over those rights unless it becomes an issue in the LOCAL papers or businesses.

    To try and compare this to slavery from over 250 years ago, or to a 4 year civil war, is ridiculous.
  • Re:Wait, what? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Fjandr ( 66656 ) on Sunday July 15, 2012 @12:50AM (#40653381) Homepage Journal

    There wouldn't necessarily be alarms. After all, the use of Cisco's IOS backdoors, last I saw, had the problem of being so quiet that surreptitious use by black hats could not be detected easily. If the people who actually constructed the backdoors were using them appropriately and designed them for completel transparency, I wouldn't make a bet against them being able to use them unnoticed. It's been done before, as recently as 2010 (the last time I read an updated report of IOS LEA intercept problems).

"It might help if we ran the MBA's out of Washington." -- Admiral Grace Hopper