Huawei Has ‘Back Door’ Access in Its Networks, Warns United States

Students studying car mechanics sit an exam in a computer room at a technical school in Jinan, in China's eastern Shandong province on January 29, 2018. (Photo by GREG BAKER / AFP) (Photo credit should read GREG BAKER/AFP via Getty Images)
GREG BAKER/AFP via Getty Images

The United States warned its allies that Chinese tech giant Huawei has “back door” access built into its networks, prompting MPs to call for Boris Johnson to reverse his decision to allow the company to help build British 5G infrastructure.

Officials from the United States presented evidence to the United Kingdom and other allies that Huawei has the ability to secretly access information on mobile networks through “back doors” typically used by law enforcement agencies, leading to fears that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) may use Huawei to spy on Western nations that allow access to the company.

Robert O’Brien, the national security advisor to President Donald Trump, told the Wall Street Journal: “We have evidence that Huawei has the capability secretly to access sensitive and personal information in systems it maintains and sells around the world.”

“Huawei does not disclose this covert access to its local customers, or the host nation national security agencies,” another senior U.S. official told the paper.

In response to the latest allegations of spying against the company, a group of Conservative MPs have urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to block Huawei from Britain’s 5G infrastructure.

Former Brexit Secretary David Davis called on the government to reverse its decision, saying: “Barely a day passes without there being new evidence that Huawei is an existential threat to the safety of the state.”

“We really need the Government to say we need a fresh start here. We are effectively going to allow Huawei in our system. This should be ringing alarm bells,” Bob Seely told The Telegraph.

Huawei denied that the company can access data through back doors in their networks and claimed it would refuse to spy for the Chinese Communist Party; however, the United States has accused the company of lying about its connections with the government in Beijing.

“U.S. allegations of Huawei using lawful interception are nothing but a smokescreen… Huawei has never and will never covertly access telecom networks, nor do we have the capability to do so,” a spokesperson said.

Boris Johnson’s government has claimed that the company will only have access to the ‘periphery’ of the United Kingdom’s 5G network, banning the company from the “core” of the network. The decision prompted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to fly to London to express the United States’s concerns with the move.

Following a visit with President Trump in the Oval Office, the leader of the Brexit Party, Nigel Farage, said that there is “growing concern” in Washington about the prime minister’s decision.

“I have picked up from speaking to some senators and congressmen this week a level of concern that does not appear to be going away. It is a genuine security concern,” Mr Farage said.

Follow Kurt on Twitter at @KurtZindulka

 

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