One of the reasons why the US government is reluctant to use Huawei’s mobile equipment for its networks is over concerns that it could be used to spy on them. Whether or not that is true remains to be seen, but now the US government is claiming that they have evidence that will prove that their concerns are valid.
Speaking to The Wall Street Journal, US National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien was quoted as saying:
“We have evidence that Huawei has the capability secretly to access sensitive and personal information in systems it maintains and sells around the world.”
Previously, the US had stated that they don’t need to show any proof of their claims, but now the report is suggesting that they are at the very least sharing their intelligence with other countries. They also claim that they have been aware of Huawei’s ability to access mobile networks through a backdoor system dating back to 2009 with Huawei’s 4G equipment. US officials have declined as to whether or not Huawei has abused this alleged backdoor for spying purposes or for any other reason.
It should also be noted that as part of US law, telco-equipment makers who sell their products to US carriers are required to build hardware ways for authorities to access them for “lawful purposes”. This means that by law, Huawei would have been required to build some kind of backdoor system for US law enforcement agencies to access, although the problem here seems to be that the US government believes that Huawei has also built in ways for them to access those networks as well, which would be illegal.
The US and China are currently in a trade war in which Huawei is one of the casualties. Huawei has been placed on the US Entity List which means that they are not allowed to do business with US companies and vice versa. The company had previously denied that they would never spy on behalf of China, but it seems that despite their insistence, not everyone is convinced.