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Six US intelligence chiefs warn against using Huawei, ZTE phones

By midian182 ยท 12 replies
Feb 14, 2018
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  1. It’s fair to say that Huawei isn’t having the best week. Yesterday, it was revealed that the company asked people to write fake Mate 10 Pro reviews for the chance to become beta testers; today, six US intelligence chiefs have warned Americans not to use Huawei or ZTE devices.

    Bosses from the six US agencies, which include the CIA, FBI, NSA, as well as the director of national intelligence, say using a telecoms device from one of the companies could put you at risk of having personal data accessed or stolen—a result of their close ties with the Chinese government.

    "We're deeply concerned about the risks of allowing any company or entity that is beholden to foreign governments that don't share our values to gain positions of power inside our telecommunications networks," FBI Director Chris Wray testified, at a meeting with the Senate Intelligence Committee.

    Senator and Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr added: “The focus of my concern today is China, and specifically Chinese telecoms companies like Huawei and ZTE that are widely understood to have extraordinary ties to the Chinese government.”

    Back in December, it was rumored that Huawei would be signing carrier deals with AT&T and Verizon to sell its Mate 10 Pro in the US, but both firms pulled out due to what’s suspected to be political pressure.

    Texas Representative Mike Conaway introduced a bill last month that would prohibit the US government from purchasing and using “telecommunications equipment and/or services,” from Huawei and ZTE, which he says pose a threat to national security.

    Huawei responded to the intelligence chiefs’ comments with the following statement: "Huawei is aware of a range of U.S. government activities seemingly aimed at inhibiting Huawei's business in the U.S. market. Huawei is trusted by governments and customers in 170 countries worldwide and poses no greater cybersecurity risk than any ICT vendor, sharing as we do common global supply chains and production capabilities."

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  2. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,493   +1,295

    My only experience with Huawei is their Huawei Watch. It's fantastic, still arguably one of the best Android Wear smart watches and you know what? Nothing about it screams to me that they're stealing info from me, in fact, it runs on Google's Android Wear 2.0 and nothing custom about it, So it's Chinese hardware with American software, British designed CPU architecture and overall SoC designed by Qualcomm, An American company...
    crocography likes this.
  3. Jeff Re

    Jeff Re TS Addict Posts: 150   +114

    Which companies share information with US intelligence agencies?
    crocography likes this.
  4. Eric L

    Eric L TS Rookie

    Burty117, I hope you realize that you can steal info at the hardware level. To start the watch you need a "boot" piece of software that is not related to Android wear and that is more than often not available to people to look at.
  5. Rippleman

    Rippleman TS Evangelist Posts: 871   +393

    it isn't about "if they are stealing info" from you. It's about IF they should choose to do so in the future at the request of the government.
  6. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,493   +1,295

    I know, but come on, most of it is designed and programed by Western countries, they just build them. Sure, they could put something in to send data back, why would they? Why would such a large, international company put it's reputation on the line like that? Just because they're close to the government doesn't mean they're automatically spying for them. Are you saying companies close to the American government are automatically spying on it's customers? Should I not buy anything manufactured in America ... oh wait, iPhone's and nearly everything is manufactured in China. Guess we shouldn't trust anything?

    This is clearly just the current companies not wanting any competition in the market place so they can continue to sell overpriced phone's.
  7. dj2017

    dj2017 TS Maniac Posts: 160   +167

    Translation: Apple asked us to ask you to only buy it's phones.
    JaredTheDragon, MirekFe and Burty117 like this.
  8. Eric L

    Eric L TS Rookie

    Eheh I never said to trust American made phone either ;) Anyway my view is, as long as you are hook to the internet you dont have any privacy.
  9. regiq

    regiq TS Addict Posts: 237   +113

    Now that's hypocrisy
    JaredTheDragon likes this.
  10. MirekFe

    MirekFe TS Booster Posts: 91   +39

    Phones that aren't built in China, include:

    South Korea
    Google Pixel 2 XL
    LG V30
    Samsung Galaxy S8/S8 Plus
    Samsung Galaxy Note 8

    Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra
    JaredTheDragon likes this.
  11. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,842   +193

    My ZTE ZMAX Pro I only using it as HUB Windshield display when I drive to work at wee hours. I not using it as a cell phone again. Makes a good Speed/Trip/etc. info display on my windshield. Already have Adguard on it to block the pest.
  12. IMHO people do too much sensitive stuff on their phones. I would never bank for instance on a phone. I keep an absolute minimum of data on there and clean 'recent' lists of texts and calls so anyone who has access to my entire phone will find very little of interest there.
  13. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 1,547   +1,767

    If these agencies, which spy on citizens all the time and seem convinced they are always right, dont want me to buy a chinese device, there is probably a very good reason, like they cant see what im doing on it.

    Sounds like Huawei will be making my next phone, or ZTE, or anyone that doesnt use a qualcomm SoC.
    Eric, I hope you realize that the US intelligence agencies are against people buying Huawei phones because they cant backdoor into chinese custom SoCs.

    A Huawei device with a qualcomm chip is no problem for them, as qualcomm is a US company, not a chinese one.
    MirekFe likes this.

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