A Matter of Trust

  • Dylan 

Recently, China has been under fire from the west in relation to its espionage and supposed use of Huawei to spy on countries telecommunications.

For context, China has been attacking other countries and stealing information for some time now, so this new development is no surprise.

In July a serious security breach at the ANU caused widespread condemnation of China, with Peter Jennings, Australia’s Strategic Policy Institute’s executive director, stating:

“This is all about intellectual property theft, it’s part of a global Chinese campaign to suck up as much information as they can from centres of learning and business around the world.”

The US was also affected by serious hacks of their Navy, NASA and the Energy Department. In response, the FBI filed warrants for two members of the APT 10 group.

After the attack, FBI director Chris Wray said “China’s goal, simply put, is to replace the US as the world’s leading superpower and they’re using illegal methods to get there”.

China has also had some high profile arrests recently, with Poland arresting a Chinese Huawei employee on spying allegations, although not directly linked to Huawei.

Meng Wanzhou, daughter of Huawei’s founder, who is a top official at Huawei was also arrested in Canada at the request of the USA for allegations of breaking the Iraq sanctions.

As a result of China’s actions, its biggest telecommunication company, Huawei, is now being labelled as untrustworthy.

Many governments including New Zealand, the US and Australia have refused offers from the company based on national security concerns.

In the case of the US, government and government contractors will be banned from using Huawei and ZTE technology. The ban is signed into place by President Trump in the Defense Authorization Act.

In August the Australian Government banned Huawei from providing 5G technology to Australia, based on national security concerns.

Why are countries banning Huawei?

To minimise the threat of China being able to spy on a countries telecommunications.

The Wall Street Journal reports that “China’s Tech Giants Have a Second Job: Helping Beijing Spy on Its People” and whilst there is no evidence against Huawei, these concerns are well founded for several reasons: China’s recent hacking activities, China’s low credibility after denying espionage allegations and its dangerous new regulations.

The new regulations state “any organisation or citizen shall support, assist, and cooperate with state intelligence work” which essentially allow the government to legally ask Huawei, or any organisation or citizen to spy for them.

Further Reading:

My Way or the Huawei

Sources:

https://www.itnews.com.au/news/australia-china-agree-to-oppose-cyber-ip-theft-459387

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-08-23/huawei-banned-from-providing-5g-mobile-technology-australia/10155438

https://www.fbi.gov/wanted/cyber/apt-10-group/apt10group8-5×11.pdf/view

https://www.theverge.com/2018/8/13/17686310/huawei-zte-us-government-contractor-ban-trump

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