What just happened? Following yesterday’s allegations by American officials that it has evidence of Huawei spying, the Chinese company has hit back, reiterating that it doesn’t have the spying abilities the US alleges, and that America itself has an extensive history of snooping on mobile phone networks.
“As evidenced by means of the Snowden leaks, america has been covertly having access to telecom networks international, spying on different nations for moderately a while,” Huawei said in a statement sent to news organizations. “The document by means of the Washington Publish this week about how the CIA used an encryption corporate to secret agent on different nations for many years is but further evidence.”
In a Wall Street Journal report yesterday, national security officials claimed the US has evidence proving Hauwei has backdoor access to the mobile-phone networks it helps build around the world. As usual, the government refused to share this evidence with the public, but it has provided details to allies, including the UK and Germany, both of whom were warned not to use Huawei equipment in their 5G networks, else lose intel-sharing privileges with the US.
The Journal notes that manufacturers who sell telecoms equipment to carriers must include backdoors for authorities to access the network for lawful purposes, but they "are also required to build equipment in such a way that the manufacturer can't get access without the consent of the network operator." Officials say Huawei’s equipment allows the company to access these networks without the carrier’s knowledge, but the company insists that this is impossible.
Huawei is only an equipment supplier. In this role, accessing customer networks without their authorization and visibility would be impossible. We do not have the ability to bypass carriers, access control, and take data from their networks without being detected by all normal firewalls or security systems. In fact, even The Wall Street Journal admits that US officials are unable to provide any concrete details concerning these so-called "backdoors."
Huawei added that the "interception interfaces are always located in protected premises on the operator's side," and are administered and used "solely by carriers and regulators."
Expect the spying allegations against Huawei to continue, even as the UK allows the firm to build parts of Britain’s 5G infrastructure—something that won’t please the US.