Published: Wed, February 14, 2018
Technology | By Russell Knight

Huawei rejects USA consumer 'security threat ' claim from Central Intelligence Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation

Huawei rejects USA consumer 'security threat ' claim from Central Intelligence Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation

US government officials have always been wary of the relationship between Huawei - which has been trying to break into the USA market in recent years as a new smartphone alternative to Apple - and the Chinese government. The recommendations, which are nothing new, came from a group that included the heads of the FBI, CIA, NSA, and the director of national intelligence and has to do with those firms close ties to the Chinese government.

Under questioning from Republican Senator Tom Cotton, none of the Intelligence officials said they would use a Huawei or ZTE product.

For its part, Huawei told CNBC that it poses no more security risk than other tech companies because such companies share the same global supply chains and production capabilities.

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By using these phones, Federal Bureau of Investigation director Chris Wray argues, it opens up the potential for "foreign governments that don't share our values to gain positions of power inside our telecommunications networks".

NSA boss Rogers believes that Chinese technological products that can be used to spy on American citizens represent a "challenge" that won't go away over time.

"That provides the capacity to exert pressure or control over our telecommunications infrastructure. And it provides the capacity to conduct undetected espionage". This could include altering information or stealing it altogether.

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A spokesman said in a statement: "Huawei is aware of a range of US government activities seemingly aimed at inhibiting Huawei's business in the USA market. We also have to ensure the Chinese don't take over the market and put every non-5G network out of business", he added.

Huawei CEO Richard Yu last month slammed American mobile carriers, accusing them of depriving customers of choice.

That line of thinking though, which is shared seemingly by the entire USA intelligence community, has held Huawei-the second-largest smartphone manufacturer in the world behind Samsung-back from realizing true success in the lucrative US smartphone market through traditional means.

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Burr said he anxious that foreign commercial investment and acquisitions might jeopardize sensitive technologies and that USA academic research and laboratories may be at risk of infiltration by China's spies.

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