The Czech National Cyber and Information Security Agency (NCISA) has accused Huawei, a Chinese telecom company and mobile phone vendor for being under the command of Beijing to conduct cyber espionage. NCISA claims that the use Huawei devices compromise one’s user privacy, especially due to strong ties of Chinese companies with the Beijing regime.
“China’s laws … require private companies residing in China to cooperate with intelligence services, therefore introducing them into the key state systems might present a threat,” said Dusan Navratil, NCISA’s Director.
China and the United States are engaging in a very intense trade war for quite some time, this was the time that Anti-China sentiments started to become very visible in the western countries and their allies, including various media outlets globally. The most controversial was the sudden arrest of Meng Wanzhou, the Chief Financial Officer of Huawei in Vancouver, Canada, just more than two weeks ago (now under bail). This was in relation to a Huawei’s alleged transaction with an Iranian-connected entity Canadian soil, which breaks U.S. imposed sanctions.
“There are no laws or regulations in China to compel Huawei, or any other company, to install ‘mandatory back doors. We categorically deny any suggestion that we pose a threat to national security. We call for NCISA to provide evidence instead of tarnishing Huawei’s reputation without any proof. Huawei has never received any such request from any government and we would never agree to it,” explained Huawei’s spokesperson.
The problem with the Anti-China narrative is painting anything coming from China as evil, rogue and malicious. However, it is also legitimate that powerful countries engage with cyber espionage all the time. Even the U.S., the lone super power engages with cyber espionage, including against its own citizens as per the revelation of Edward Snowden in 2012, the former NSA contractor is now under exile in Russia in order not to be arrested by U.S. authorities.
The problem with the accusations against Huawei is there are still no evidence showed to the public proving the allegations. Huawei produces many networking and mobile products used worldwide, the digital forensic experts can get a hold of Huawei hardware and start the forensic probe of the actual hardware. What we are currently witnessing is banning of Huawei equipment by various countries based-on the hype of it containing spying capabilities. It is not difficult for any state to take a careful look at the sample devices, show the public the evidence they found and the China cannot defend itself if an actual part of the PCB (printed circuit board) from a Huawei device is revealed to having espionage capabilities.
Huawei is a very prolific company when it comes to rolling-out new technology. The year 2019 is now being dubbed as the year of the 5G, there will be a black hole in the market if more countries start banning Huawei 5G equipment. As 5G smart phones starts to roll-out in the first quarter of 2019, meeting the demands for the new technology will be more challenging without Huawei supplying their equipment to meet the demands.