In an interview with the Australian Financial Review the former director of the American National Security Agency (NSA), General Michael Hayden, stated that the Chinese firm Huawei (who sell various smartphones, tablets and other electronics) are a threat to both American and Australian national security. The former NSA director believes that Huawei has been used by China to spy on other nations stating:
“Yes, I have no reason to question the belief that’s the case. That’s my professional judgment. But as the former director of the NSA, I cannot comment on specific instances of espionage or any operational matters”
He may have a point, but how is China using Huawei to spy any different to the USA using Skype, Microsoft, Google, Facebook and other American firms to spy (on China and many other nations including Australia)? General Michael Hayden added that:
“At a minimum, Huawei would have shared with the Chinese state intimate and extensive knowledge of the foreign telecommunications systems it is involved with. I think that goes without saying. That’s one reality”
Luke Coleman, Huawei Australia’s spokesperson commented on the accusations stating that:
“People have been saying these things for a long time but for years and years we’ve never seen any evidence and nothing’s changed on that front so from Huawei’s perspective we’re saying it’s time to put up or shut up…If the evidence is out there people have a right to see it, our staff have a right to see it and so far no one seems to have come in with that evidence…We’ve seen this in the past, clearly there are bigger geopolitical issues going on right now between America and China and unfortunately Huawei tends to be a bit of a piggy in the middle here”.
Furthermore Luke Coleman claims a massive conflict of interests with the former NSA director’s statements claiming he is on the boardroom of both Cisco and Motorola – two of Huawei’s largest competitors.
Image courtesy of Af.mil