U.S. officials say they have evidence that Huawei has backdoor access to mobile phone networks worldwide, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) published today.
The United States has long argued that Huawei can secretly access networks through the network equipment it sells to telecommunications companies, but the government previously argued that it need not show any evidence.
American officials are not yet providing such evidence publicly, but have begun to share their information with other countries, said the WSJ report.
"We have evidence that Huawei has a secret ability to access confidential and personal information on the systems it maintains and sells around the world"US national security consultant Robert O'Brien told the newspaper.
O WSJ wrote:
The United States kept intelligence highly ranked until the end of last year, when American officials provided details to allies, including the United Kingdom and Germany, according to authorities in the three countries. This was a tactical turnaround by the United States, which in the past argued that they did not need to produce concrete evidence of the threat that Huawei poses to nation security.
US accuses Huawei!
The US has shared this evidence at the same time as the Trump administration attempts to convince the allies to get Huawei gear out of their networks.
American officials said they are aware of Huawei's backdoors "since they saw it in 2009 on the first 4G devices," the newspaper wrote. However, the American authorities cited by the WSJ "refused to say whether the United States observed Huawei using this access."
Manufacturers of telecommunications equipment that sell products to operators "are required by law to incorporate into their hardware means the authorities to access networks for legal purposes", but they "are also required to manufacture equipment so that the manufacturer cannot access without the consent of the network operator, "wrote the WSJ.
American officials say Huawei has violated these laws, which are enforced in several countries, the newspaper wrote:
US officials say Huawei has built equipment that secretly preserves the manufacturer's ability to access networks through these interfaces without operators' knowledge. Officials have not provided details of where they believe Huawei is capable of (…) accessing networks. Other manufacturers do not have the same capacity, they said.
A US official told the WSJ that "Huawei does not disclose this secret access to its local customers or to national security agencies in the host country".
Huawei denies it!
Huawei contested the latest allegations, as it has done in the past, saying that "it will never do anything that compromises or endangers the security of its customers' networks and data". Huawei also said that the United States made its latest accusations "without providing any kind of concrete evidence".
"No Huawei employee is allowed to access the network without the operator's explicit approval," said a Huawei employee, according to the WSJ.
The US government has been moving to reduce the amount of Huawei and ZTE equipment on telecommunications networks. The Federal Communications Commission unanimously voted in November to ban Huawei and ZTE equipment on projects paid for by the FCC's Universal Service Fund (USF).
FCC President Ajit Pai said at the time that Huawei and ZTE "have close ties to China's communist military and government apparatus" and "are subject to Chinese laws, forcing them largely to cooperate with any requests from intelligence of the country and to keep it a secret. "
The ban is expected to reach smaller operators with more strength, as Huawei has appealed to small network operators by selling low-cost equipment. On the other hand, large telecommunications companies like AT&T "have long since moved away from Huawei," said a report by the Wall Street Journal in March 2018.
We know that this information came to light after Huawei entered into partnerships in Europe, so although the US accuses and claims to have evidence, the simple act of not bringing such documents to the public in the least strange. Again it seems that the US is creating a problem and directly associating it with Huawei to try to stop the Chinese giant.
We recommend reading: