More specific details on the case against the Chinese manufacturer
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge
US officials say Huawei maintains backdoors into telecom networks across the world, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.
The news comes after years of escalating sanctions against the company including an executive order in May that prohibited US companies from licensing tech to Huawei but the justifications for those sanctions have remained vague and clouded by secrecy. Now, officials are getting specific, claiming the Chinese hardware manufacturer has maintained backdoors into some of the networks it builds, starting as early as 4G equipment sold in 2009. Theres also no hard evidence of the capability, but the claims are more specific than ever, and now coming from some of the nations top national security officials.
We have evidence that Huawei has the capability secretly to access sensitive and personal information in systems it maintains and sells around the world, national security adviser Robert OBrien told the Journal.
Theres no indication of whether this capability has actually been used, although officials did tell the Journal that telecoms buying Huawei equipment are unaware of the companys level of access.
The escalation comes after a surprise decision from the United Kingdom to allow Huawei to supply non-core equipment to the countrys networks. The US had lobbied heavily against Huaweis inclusion in the run-up to 5G, but ultimately was unable to convince the country to entirely exclude the vendor.
Huawei did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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