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Huawei, ZTE Devices Could be Used for ‘Spying on Americans’, Investigation Says

by Killian Bell | October 8, 2012October 8, 2012 3:00 am PDT

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Two Chinese telecommunications firms that have been trying to expand in the United States have been labeled a national security threat by a congressional investigation. Huawei and ZTE may have violated U.S. laws, according to the report, which advises government departments and companies to avoid their devices.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the House Intelligence committee has conducted a year-long investigation into the two electronics giants, and has found that their devices could be used for “spying on Americans.” The report will be published on Monday, and it will include recommendations that Congress prevent acquisitions or mergers between the two companies and U.S. firms.

ZTE has denied the allegations, and issued a statement this morning which read:

“ZTE should not be a focus of this investigation to the exclusion of the much larger Western vendors.”

As for Huawei, company spokesman William Plummer told the Journal that the claims “recklessly threaten American jobs and innovation”:

“Purporting that Huawei is somehow uniquely vulnerable to cyber-mischief ignores technical and commercial realities, recklessly threatens American jobs and innovation, does nothing to protect national security.”

Despite these protests, chair of the committee Mike Rogers said they “simply cannot trust” devices from companies with “known ties” to the Chinese state:

“We simply cannot trust such vital systems to companies with known ties to the Chinese state, a country that is the largest perpetrator of cyberespionage against the US.”

The report does not contain proof that devices from Huawei or ZTE are guilty of spying, The Next Web reports, but it does claim that some U.S. firms have reported “odd or alerting incidents” while using them. Furthermore, the committee’s concern is that the Chinese government could demand sensitive information from Huawei or ZTE.

If you own a device made by Huawei or ZTE, does this report concern you?

[Via: The Next Web]


Killian Bell

Killian Bell is a 20-something technology journalist based in a tiny town in England. He has an obsession with that little company in Cupertino...

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