There are relationships that are simply unrepairable. The one between the USA and Huawei definitely belongs to this category. The US government has long claimed that Huawei is a security risk and has essentially imposed a ban on the Chinese company. Yesterday, the USA pressed ahead and caused a huge storm over Huawei’s head.
Hardly anything is more sacred to us than our privacy. This applies not only to surfing the Internet, but also to normal telephone calls. If one believes the recent claims of the US government, Huawei is said to have violated this privacy immensely and accessed our confidential data through a “back door”. Huawei vehemently denies this.
The Wall Street Journal publishes the US government’s views…
The new dispute between Huawei and the US government was triggered by a report in the Wall Street Journal. This stated that Huawei uses back doors in hardware to access mobile phone networks around the world, according to US officials. Methods that are actually only open to prosecution. If one follows the statements of US officials, which the Wall Street Journal quotes in its article, Huawei had already had these possibilities for decades.
The magazine also included the following quote from National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien:
“We have evidence that Huawei has the capability secretly to access sensitive and personal information in systems it maintains and sells around the world.” Robert O’Brien
However, exact details, for example on countries concerned, were not disclosed by the US officials. According to them, however, the problem first occurred with the equipment on 4G. These accusations have consequences not only in the USA. Within the EU, recommendations were made to do without Huawei as an equipment supplier. For example, the British company Vodafone announced that it will remove Huawei components in the expansion of 5G networks. British PM Boris Johnson has since defied Trump and given Huawei the green light to develop Britain’s 5G network.
Huawei responds with a statement
According to the latest allegations made by the USA, the Chinese company had to react to the allegations. In a press release, Huawei commented on the allegations. The company states that it, like any other provider, is obliged to comply with the existing interception standards (3GPP standard TS 33.107 for 3G networks, TS33.128 for 5G networks). Furthermore, Huawei states that both the actual management and use of the legitimate interception interfaces is carried out by only two bodies: the network operators and the competent authorities.
Huawei also explains that access to the interfaces is via third-party systems, which should be under the permanent control of the network operator. These third-party systems were therefore not supplied by Huawei but by other suppliers.
“The US claim that Huawei has used technical interfaces for lawful interception is nothing more than an attempt to cover up – it contradicts any generally accepted logic in the field of cyber security”.
Furthermore, the company refers to the high safety standards that exist with regard to the interfaces. Since the company itself would only supply equipment, it would not be able to access customer networks without their consent. In addition, it would also be impossible to get past the security systems to access the network data undetected, Huawei explains, ending its press release by stating that both cybersecurity and user privacy are top priorities for the company.
“We are very outraged that the US government has spared no effort to stigmatize Huawei by alleged cyber security problems.”
The sage is not over for Huawei
Soon the accusations could be followed by financial consequences. According to reports, the United States Department of Defense is now also reportedly no longer entirely opposed to further sanctions against Huawei.
It had initially intervened when the US Department of Commerce last month decided to impose further restrictions that would make it even more difficult for Huawei to source components for its products. The reason for the objection to the restrictions was based on the fear that Huawei could thus become even more independent of US technology. In addition, other foreign manufacturers could have been encouraged to look for alternatives as well.
According to Politico, the Ministry of Defence has probably given up on this opinion. Instead, it now wants to support the restrictions. This would close further loopholes that were previously used by some US companies to continue their cooperation with Huawei.
Officials from both ministries will meet later this week to discuss the exact rules. A meeting between the Secretaries of the Ministries of Trade, Defence, and Finance is also scheduled for February 28.