Huawei Claims Transparency But These Facts Say Otherwise
"(A)s the Deputy Chairman of the Board of Huawei and the Chairman of the Global Cyber Security Committee of Huawei, I would like to make our company’s position clear. We can confirm that we have never received any instructions or requests from any Government or their agencies to change our positions, policies, procedures, hardware, software or employment practices or anything else, other than suggestions to improve our end-to-end cyber security capability. We can confirm that we have never been asked to provide access to our technology, or provide any data or information on any citizen or organization to any Government, or their agencies.
"Huawei will continue our open and transparent approach and responsible position to its operations and everything we do."
- Ken Hu (Deputy Chairman of the Board of Huawei and Chairman of the Huawei Global Cyber Security Committee)Mr. Hu wrote the above statement in a web posting which announced Huawei's Cyber Security white paper "Cyber Security Perspectives: Making Cyber Security a part of a Company's DNA" (October, 2013).
This PR campaign is clearly mean't to take advantage of the Snowden leaks regarding NSA activities and data collection. Mr. Hu wants to paint a picture that Huawei, unlike U.S. companies named with supporting legal NSA requests, has not received any such requests from the Chinese government.
That's disingenuous at best, and purposefully misleading at worst.
The government of China is one of Huawei's biggest customers; primarily the State-owned telecommunications companies - China Telecom, China Unicom, and China Mobile. Those companies engage in State-mandated monitoring of all telecommunications inside the PRC using in part Huawei's equipment. In fact, China's State Security Law requires that companies and individuals comply with any request for assistance by the MSS or other state security organs up to and including technological means of surveillance.
If the MSS hasn't asked Huawei to provide access, it's because Huawei has already built that access in so that China Telecom can do its job of lawful intercept. And that's not just for telecommunications services. The law was updated in 2010 to include Internet traffic.
Regardless of how Mr. Plummer, Mr. Purdy, Mr. Hu and other Huawei executives try to spin their company's dedication to transparency and security, they work for a company whose equipment is used to surveil the communications of a country of 1.3 billion people, including all of the foreign-owned companies which have offices in China. Their white paper doesn't talk about that, nor does it reveal how Huawei hardware supports MSS collection efforts.
That's not being transparent, gentlemen.