• Catch issues early, fix them fast – Free trial


    [ad] With GFI Cloud you can easily manage and secure your remote workforce – wherever they are, from wherever you are! The simple IT management platform includes patch management, antivirus, web protection, monitoring and remote control. Get the benefit of endpoint protection with the ease of central management. Start a free trial now.


  • Great articles on other sites
  • RSS Great articles on other sites

  • Blog, Telecommunications - Written by on Thursday, October 18, 2012 13:39 - 17 Comments

    White House clears Huawei of spy claims

    blog Well, well. Seems as though there just still isn’t any evidence apart from rumours and innuendo that Chinese networking giant Huawei is involved in espionage for the Chinese Government or military, and now some rather large players are finally coming out in public to say so. Reuters reports (we recommend you click here for access to the whole article):

    “A White House-ordered review of security risks posed by suppliers to U.S. telecommunications companies found no clear evidence that Huawei Technologies Ltd had spied for China, two people familiar with the probe told Reuters.”

    Despite the fact that a number of organisations, such as the Australian Security & Intelligence Organisation in Australia and various Canadian, US and UK authorities continue to have concerns about Huawei — concerns which led in Australia to the company’s ban from tendering for contracts with the National Broadband Network Company — no credible evidence has yet been presented publicly that the company is engaged in espionage activities, and Huawei has been engaged in a constant battle over the past several years to clear its name in this area. The security agencies concerned have consistently declined to provide evidence in public to back their concerns about the company.

    Huawei has strongly denied that any undue influence exists on its commercial operations. In addition, no technical proof of any so-called ‘backdoors’ in Huawei’s infrastructure has ever been presented in public. The company continues to be a key supplier of networking equipment to major Australian telcos such as Optus and Vodafone, and the company has also conducted trials of its equipment with Telstra. Other Australian telcos it works with include AAPT, vividwireless, Primus and TPG. Huawei is also gradually becoming a major consumer electronics brand in Australia (as it is in China), and has retail partnerships with giant local firms such as Woolworths. The company is believed to have approximately 600 staff based in Australia.

    In an attempt to defray the allegations and demonstrate its commitment to Australia, in June last year Huawei appointed former Labor Victorian Premier John Brumby and former Liberal Foreign Minister Alexander Downer to its local board, along with retired navy rear admiral John Lord as its local chairman. The news marked the first time Huawei has created a local board with three independent directors anywhere in the world, according to the company. In addition, the company has opened its manufacturing facilities and software code to external scrutiny and audit.

    Image credit: Huawei

    submit to reddit

    17 Comments

    You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

    1. Tubsta
      Posted 18/10/2012 at 2:27 pm | Permalink |

      White house says one thing and congress says another http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/business/world-business/us-congress-rules-huawei-a-security-threat-20121008-278h9.html

      A really confused capital over in the good ‘ol US of A.

      Don’t really know if it is important or see the big deal over this Huawei fiasco. Basically, you have really secret stuff? Encrypt it before it traverses any network – problem solved.

    2. Hubert Cumberdale
      Posted 18/10/2012 at 2:46 pm | Permalink |

      Not that I agreed with the Huawei NBN ban but now that the USA has “cleared” them does that mean it’s OK for Australia to lift the ban? Surely we have security concerns of our own or do we just adopt the ones dictated to us by America? We will soon find out…

    3. Posted 18/10/2012 at 3:06 pm | Permalink |

      Some of that article however, states that no one is suggesting there isn’t serious possibilities and scope for Huawei to do exactly that- after all, several gaping holes have been found in their security of various products and several backdoors as well. Article 12 of the Chinese State allows them to interfere with ANY Chinese company, essentially giving a conduit for such espionage.

      I’m not suggesting we should automatically disclude all Chinese businesses. But Huawei has bounced back and forth from being open to being mute on certain questions.

      I’m still in favour of the Huawei ban on the NBN though.

    4. adrian
      Posted 18/10/2012 at 3:16 pm | Permalink |

      Lol – I find it interesting everyone can go Huawei for spying but there is nothing ever said about US giants like Cisco, google, microsoft or even oracle do not engage in it now.

      It seems like the usa is not interested in competition weather it be better technology or spying abilities!

      • Soth
        Posted 18/10/2012 at 4:19 pm | Permalink |

        I recon, all this talk from America about Huawei, and they only have to look in their own back yard to find that they are doing it to their own people, and the rest of the world (thanks Google).
        I hope Australia lifts the ban on them.

      • Fractre
        Posted 18/10/2012 at 4:28 pm | Permalink |

        So, to be fair and allow proper competition, the US should allow China the potential to spy, because the US does it too?

        Also, I believe the White House source stated that while there was no evidence of spying, crtitical security flaws were found that Hauwei were unable to adequately explain, so there was no proof of it not occuring either, leading to the US to come to the decision they did.

        Is it paranoid? Yes. But the burden is on Hauwei to prove the security flaws weren’t baked in, not for the US to prove that they were.

        • Tinman_au
          Posted 18/10/2012 at 4:56 pm | Permalink |

          “So, to be fair and allow proper competition, the US should allow China the potential to spy, because the US does it too?”

          The point should be that the potential exists regardless of what country/company it is. America probably feels a lot safer sticking with US companies, but Australia should be careful of both China and the US companies (US companies mainly thanks the the Patriot Act).

          • Fractre
            Posted 18/10/2012 at 5:26 pm | Permalink |

            I agree that Australia should be careful of equipment sourced from either of the two countries.

            I was attempting to point out (poorly!) that arguing that the US are being hypocritical and are some how in the wrong here, because they won’t allow foreign powers to spy on their citizens, while doing the same themselves, is ridiculous.

            (Before anyone points it out, I know there’s no proof of spying, I was speaking hypothetically from the point of view of a paranoid American)

    5. Stephen H
      Posted 18/10/2012 at 4:19 pm | Permalink |

      Doesn’t the Patriot Act allow (and in some circumstances, require) US companies to hand over any data they have to the US government? I’d like to see the US deal with the log in its own eye as well as the mote in China’s.

    6. Brendan
      Posted 18/10/2012 at 4:56 pm | Permalink |

      Comparisons between “spying” between Chinese and US, for US and riotous laughter at the double standard misses a salient point.

      There are Acts and Laws around US Agencies collecting intelligence regarding it’s citizens and residents. Granted they may not be overly palatable, or even well defined, and may well be breached on occasion – but they do exist.

      This is in contrast to China or any other country performing intelligence within US borders; or leveraging third parties to do so.

      That never seems to go down well. Funnily enough. Paranoia does that, I guess? It’s a similar deal here.

      Hauwei have had some questions raised around certain security related concerns, and actions, they have yet to really respond to.

      Is this all a bit melodramatic? Sure. Welcome to politics and the bizarre world of intelligence.

      • Tinman_au
        Posted 18/10/2012 at 5:07 pm | Permalink |

        The US may (or may not now) have strong laws regarding spying on it’s own citizens, but for every one else they can collect what they like and US companies are required to assist in it.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Library_records_provision#Section_215:_Access_to_records_and_other_items_under_FISA

        • Posted 18/10/2012 at 5:11 pm | Permalink |

          “The US may (or may not now) have strong laws regarding spying on it’s own citizens”

          *cough* wot

          I’m sorry, but isn’t the US Government the prime example of an organisation constantly spying on its own citizens, in every way legally possible, and many ways illegally possible?

          • Fractre
            Posted 18/10/2012 at 5:33 pm | Permalink |

            And just in case that wasn’t enough, I’m pretty sure US Courts have just decided they will no longer hear challenges to the constitutional validity of US wiretapping laws, regardless of the legality of the laws.

          • giltapple
            Posted 25/10/2012 at 7:42 am | Permalink |

            Which comments may be true and relevant to present or past acts of Huawei, but they presage nothing about its future acts.

            If you would not voluntarily tell your neighbour anything to your own disadvantage, there is little point in not making sure that there is no *potential*—and potential is the salient point in this brouhaha—for your neighbour to *discover* anything to your disadvantage.

            QED

    7. brutally handsome
      Posted 19/10/2012 at 3:27 pm | Permalink |

      Huawei is still controlled by the chinese govt and the chinese govt is still a totalitarian system, nothings changed, despite their facade of capitalism…

      you have to be crazy to build your national infrastructure with their product.

    8. brutally handsome
      Posted 19/10/2012 at 3:32 pm | Permalink |

      the key difference here really isnt about privacy, everyone spies, everyone cheats…no big deal.

      The key difference is how government responds.

      In greece there are riots, few people are killed, if one is, its a big deal. It can even cause the govt to be thrown out.

      In china, if same riots/protest happen, you would not even hear about it, most of the people would just vanish.

      That is what you are dealing with, dont ever forget that.

    9. Posted 20/10/2012 at 2:45 pm | Permalink |

      I was sent here from the Tumblr website




    Get our 'Best of the Week' newsletter on Fridays

    Just the most important stories, one email a week.

    Email address:


  • Most Popular Content

  • Enterprise IT stories

    • Super funds close to dumping $250m IT revamp facepalm2

      If you have even a skin deep awareness of the structure of Australia’s superannuation industry, you’ll be aware that much of the underlying infrastructure used by many of the nation’s major funds — AustralianSuper, CBus, HESTA and more — is provided by a centralised group, Superpartners. One of the group’s main projects in recent years has been to dramatically update and modernise its IT platform — its version of a core banking platform overhaul. Unfortunately, as was revealed in November, the $250 million project has not precisely been going well, and the Financial Review last week reported that Superpartners is actually close to turfing it altogether and going back to the drawing board.

    • Qld’s Grant joins analyst firm IBRS peter-grant

      This week it emerged that Peter Grant, the two-time former Queensland Whole of Government CIO (pictured), has joined well-regarded analyst firm Intelligent Business Research Services (IBRS). We’ve long had a high regard for IBRS, and so it’s fantastic to see such an experienced executive join its ranks.

    • Westpac dumps desk phones for Samsung Android mobiles samsung-galaxy-ace-3

      The era of troublesome desk phones tied to physical locations is gradually coming to an end in many workplaces, with mobile phones becoming increasingly popular as organisations’ main method of voice telecommunications. But some groups are more advanced than others when it comes to adoption of the trend. One of those is Westpac.

    • Ministers’ cloud approval lasted just a year reverse

      Remember how twelve months ago, the Federal Government released a new cloud computing security and privacy directive which required departments and agencies to explicitly acquire the approval of the Attorney-General and the relevant portfolio minister before government data containing private information could be stored in offshore facilities? Remember how the policy was strongly criticised by Microsoft, Government CIOs and Delimiter? Well, it looks like the policy is about to be reversed.

    • WA Govt can’t fund school IT upgrades oops key

      In news from The Department of Disturbing Facts, iTNews revealed late last week that Western Australia’s Department of Education has run out of money halfway through the deployment of new fundamental IT infrastructure to the state’s schools.

    • Turnbull outlines Govt ICT vision turnbull-5

      Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has published an extensive article arguing that the Federal Government needed to do a better job of connecting with Australians via digital channels and that public sector IT projects needn’t cost the huge amounts that some have in the past.

    • NZ Govt pushes hard into cloud zealand

      New Zealand’s national Government announced a whole of government contract this morning for what it terms ‘Office Productivity as a Service’ services. This includes email and calendaring services, as well as file-sharing, mobility, instant messaging and collaboration services. The contract complements two existing contracts — Desktop as a Service and Enterprise Content Management as a Service.

    • CommBank reveals Harte’s replacement whiteing

      The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has promoted an internal executive who joined the bank in September after a lengthy career at petroleum giant VP and IT services group Accenture to replace its outgoing chief information officer Michael Harte, who announced in early May that he would leave the bank.

    • Jeff Smith quits Suncorp for IBM jeffsmith4

      Second-tier Australian bank and financial services group Suncorp today announced that its long-serving top technology executive Jeff Smith would leave to take up a senior role with IBM in the United States, in an announcement which marks the end of an era for the nation’s banking IT sector.

    • Small business missing the mobile, social, cloud revolution iphone-stock

      Most companies that live and breathe the online revolution are not tech startups, but smart smaller firms that use online tools to run their core business better: to cut costs, reach customers and suppliers, innovate and get more control. Many others, however, are falling behind, according to a new Grattan Institute discussion paper.

  • Blog, Enterprise IT - Jul 5, 2014 13:53 - 0 Comments

    Super funds close to dumping $250m IT revamp

    More In Enterprise IT


    Blog, Telecommunications - Jul 5, 2014 12:12 - 0 Comments

    What should the ACCC’s role be in guiding infrastructure spending?

    More In Telecommunications


    Analysis, Industry, Internet - Jun 23, 2014 10:33 - 0 Comments

    ‘Google Schmoogle’ – how Yellow Pages got it so wrong

    More In Industry


    Blog, Digital Rights - Jun 30, 2014 22:24 - 0 Comments

    Will Netflix launch in Australia, or not?

    More In Digital Rights