White House claims Huawei equipment has backdoor for spying

Posted: Updated:
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File). FILE - In this Jan. 8, 2020, file photo, national security adviser Robert O'Brien, listens as President Donald Trump addresses the nation from the White House in Washington. As the White House presses allies to ban Huawei... (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File). FILE - In this Jan. 8, 2020, file photo, national security adviser Robert O'Brien, listens as President Donald Trump addresses the nation from the White House in Washington. As the White House presses allies to ban Huawei...

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Chinese company Huawei can secretly tap into communications through the networking equipment it sells globally, a U.S. official charged as the White House stepped up efforts to persuade allies to ban the gear from next-generation cellular networks.

The U.S. national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, made the statement at an Atlantic Council forum on Tuesday evening after The Wall Street Journal quoted him as saying Huawei can “access sensitive and personal information” in systems it sells and maintains globally. O'Brien did not provide any evidence to support the claim.

U.S. officials have long argued that Huawei is duty-bound by Chinese law to spy on behalf of the country’s ruling Communist Party. Huawei denies that claim and issued a statement Wednesday saying the company “has never and will never covertly access telecom networks, nor do we have the capability to do so.”

The Trump administration has been lobbying for more than a year to persuade allies to exclude Huawei equipment from their next-generation cellular networks, known as 5G.

Britain and the European Union have declined to impose an outright ban, however. London has prohibited Huawei from supplying equipment used in the core of its 5G network but not the periphery. The EU last month unveiled security guidelines that, similar to measures already in place in Britain, are aimed at reducing cybersecurity risks.

Independent cybersecurity experts say the intelligence services of global powers including the United States routinely exploit vulnerabilities in networking equipment - regardless of the manufacturer - for espionage purposes.

The United States and other countries require that so-called “lawful intercept” capabilities be built into networks, though the equipment manufacturers are not supposed to have secret access to them.

Many analysts consider Washington's intense anti-Huawei lobbying efforts as much about seeking global technological dominance as deterring Chinese cyber-espionage, which is already rampant and equipment agnostic.

They also note that the NSA has previously infiltrated Huawei equipment - as well as network devices of other manufacturers - as detailed in documents disclosed in 2013 by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."