‘Publish it, let the world see it,’ says Huawei on US evidence of alleged crimes

C. Scott Brown February 14, 2020


Yesterday, the United States Department of Justice filed a formal indictment against Chinese tech giant Huawei. The indictment accuses Huawei of some serious crimes, including racketeering, theft, and obstruction. Although the accusations are serious, the indictment doesn’t provide much evidence to support them.

Now, Huawei is calling for the US to make any of its evidence against the company public. Huawei maintains that is innocent of all crimes.

We just say: ‘Don’t hide it, don’t be shy. Publish it, let the world see it’,” said Huawei’s cybersecurity chief John Suffolk.

Suffolk is specifically referring to evidence related to the allegations that the company uses so-called “backdoors” to spy on network communications performed by other countries. However, he also references the allegations that Huawei steals trade secrets in order to bolster its own brand.

On the latter charge, Suffolk pointed out that, if these allegations were true, Huawei’s competitors would be growing at a significant rate. He posits that if there are lucrative trade secrets Huawei has stolen from competitors, then these other companies should be growing as much as Huawei has.

Before the Huawei ban began, the company’s smartphone division was poised to overtake Samsung and become the biggest smartphone manufacturer in the world. Even now, the company still sits comfortably in second place, above even the likes of Apple.

The faith of our customers — and you can see this in the results over the past 30 years — gives an indication of what our customers think of those allegations,” Suffolk said.

Source: Android Authority “‘Publish it, let the world see it,’ says Huawei on US evidence of alleged crimes”

Note: This is Android Authority’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.

Pelosi warns US allies: ‘Don’t go near Huawei’

Published Fri, Feb 14 20202:54 PM EST

Updated Fri, Feb 14 20207:45 PM EST

Amanda Macias


Key Points

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday warned nations against doing business with Chinese telecom giant Huawei and called on other nations to work with the U.S. as the globe races to develop 5G networks.

  • This is the most insidious form of aggression, to have that line of communication, 5G, dominated by an autocratic government that does not share our values,” Pelosi told an audience at the Munich Security Conference.

  • Her comments come as the Trump administration works to isolate Huawei from developing a larger foothold in U.S. partner countries.

Speaker of the House of Represenatives Nancy Pelosi speaks during a discussion at the Munich Security Conference on February 14, 2020 in Munich, Germany.
Kuhlmann | Munich Security Conference

MUNICH — U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday warned nations against doing business with Chinese telecom giant Huawei and called on other nations to work with the U.S. as the globe races to develop 5G networks.

Her comments come after the Justice Department brought new charges against Huawei, accusing it of racketeering and plotting to steal trade secrets from U.S. companies.

This is the most insidious form of aggression, to have that line of communication, 5G, dominated by an autocratic government that does not share our values,” Pelosi, D-Calif., told an audience at the Munich Security Conference.

If you want to build a collective conscience of values and respect for human rights and the rest, don’t go near Huawei and instead, let’s internationalize and build something together that will be about freedom of information,” she added.

Pelosi’s hard stance against Huawei represents one of her few areas of agreement with President Donald Trump. The Trump administration is working to isolate Huawei from developing a larger foothold in U.S. partner countries. The administration has specifically worked to keep members of the “five eyes” intelligence-sharing group — the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand — from working with Huawei.

Last month, the Trump administration expressed disappointment after the U.K. announced it would allow Huawei to have limited access to some British 5G mobile networks. “The United States is disappointed by the U.K.’s decision,” a senior Trump administration official wrote in a Jan. 28 emailed statement to CNBC. The official added that the Trump administration will work “with the U.K. on a way forward that results in the exclusion of untrusted vendor components from 5G networks.”

U.S. officials have long complained that Chinese intellectual property theft has cost the economy billions of dollars in revenue and thousands of jobs and that it threatens national security. China maintains that it does not engage in intellectual property theft.

I’ve been tracking China for 30 years on trade, intellectual property and the rest of it, and I tell you unequivocally, without any hesitation: Be very careful … unless you want to end up with a society like China or an economy like China, which is not in the free enterprise mode,” Pelosi said, reiterating that countries need to work with the U.S. on 5G development.

A White House official told a small group of reporters on the sidelines of the Munich forum that the U.S. wants to develop partnerships with the telecom industry in order to counter Huawei’s offerings.

Robert Blair, White House special representative for international telecommunications policy, also called on the U.K. to take a “hard look” at its decision to use Huawei equipment.

Vice President Mike Pence told CNBC last week that London’s decision could jeopardize trade talks between the U.K. and the United States.

We’re anxious to build our economic ties, but we have made it clear to Prime Minister [Boris] Johnson and to officials in the U.K., that as we expand opportunities to build out 5G across this country … we want to see our companies meet the needs in the United States and U.K. and among all our allies without the compromise of privacy and the compromise of security that necessarily comes with Huawei and control by the Chinese Communist Party,” Pence told CNBC’s Wilfred Frost.

When asked about the issue by CNBC on his first day as secretary of Defense, Mark Esper said he was “very concerned about Chinese technology getting into our systems or the systems of our allies.”

Huawei is the poster child right now for that,” Esper said, adding that the U.S. trade war with China is as much about national security as it is about the economy.

In 2018, the Pentagon halted sales of Huawei and ZTE mobile phones and modems on military bases around the world, citing potential security risks. Huawei and ZTE have previously denied allegations that their products are used to spy on Americans.

Source: CNBC “Pelosi warns US allies: ‘Don’t go near Huawei’”

Note: This is CNBC’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.

US files more charges against Huawei

2020-02-14 HKT 05:34

The US Justice Department has brought more criminal charges against Chinese tech giant Huawei, its chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou and several of its subsidiaries, accusing the company of plotting to steal trade secrets from competitors.

The company is also accused of installing surveillance equipment that enabled Iranian authorities to monitor and subsequently detain protesters during anti-government demonstrations in 2009, and of lying to competitors and US government about business it was doing in North Korea despite the imposition of sanctions there.

Meng is currently fighting extradition from Canada, where she had been arrested at US request over a related probe into Huawei’s violations of US sanctions.

The case comes as the Trump administration is raising national security concerns about Huawei, the world’s largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer, and is aggressively lobbying Western allies against including the company in the latest 5G wireless networks.

The latest indictment brought by federal prosecutors in Brooklyn adds charges of racketeering conspiracy and conspiracy to steal trade secrets to the earlier charges of lying to banks about deals that violated economic sanctions against Iran. Federal prosecutors in Seattle have brought a separate trade secrets theft case against the company.

The latest allegations accuse Huawei of plotting to steal the trade secrets and intellectual property of rival companies in the US In some cases, prosecutors said, Huawei recruited former employees of rival companies and also offered bonuses to its own employees to steal information from competitors.

The company also used proxies, including professors at research institutions, to steal intellectual property, prosecutors said.

The stolen information including antenna and robot testing technology as well as user manuals for internet routers.

In May 2013, according to the indictment, a Huawei employee removed a robot arm from the lab of another company, and measurements and photographs of the arm were then shared with company engineers.

In another allegation, a professor at a Chinese university entered into a contract with Huawei to develop prototype software for memory hardware, then signed a licensing agreement with a rival company that offered the professor access to its own proprietary technology.

The company has consistently denied the allegations against it.

Trump administration officials have recently levelled national security allegations against Huawei in an effort to encourage European nations to ban the gear from next-generation cellular networks. (AP)

Source: RTHK “US files more charges against Huawei”

Note: This is RTHK’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.

Looks Like Huawei Might Be Screwed This Time

Tom McKay

Today 4:43PM

The Department of Justice announced on Thursday that it was unsealing a superseding indictment against Chinese tech giant Huawei, charging the company and several of its affiliates under a law traditionally used to take down sprawling criminal syndicates that operated under multiple layers of secrecy.

Huawei is the world’s largest telecommunications equipment provider and one of its largest cell phone manufacturers. The new charges add to the company’s legal woes, which already included two separate indictments unsealed in January 2019: one in the Western District of Washington alleging Huawei staff conspired to steal information about a T-Mobile cell phone-testing robot nicknamed “Tappy,” and another in the Eastern District of New York charging Huawei, chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, and subsidiaries with 13 charges relating to alleged banking and financial fraud as part of a Huawei scheme to evade U.S. sanctions on Iran.

The superseding indictment adds three new charges in the Eastern District case, including conspiracy to steal trade secrets, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and racketeering conspiracy under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). In addition to Huawei, it now includes four subsidiaries mentioned in the prior cases: Huawei Device, Huawei USA, Futurwei Technologies, and Skycom. U.S. prosecutors are essentially asserting that Huawei and those companies achieved their top-ranking status by working as a criminal enterprise akin to a corporate mafia.

A RICO charge means that Huawei and the other companies could face huge consequences if they are found to have collectively acted as such a criminal enterprise.

It escalates the charges rather dramatically, alleging Huawei itself is a criminal enterprise (rather than a regular company that happened to break the law),” Julian Ku, a constitutional law professor at Hofstra University School of Law, told Gizmodo via Twitter DM. “… RICO is different because it means that all of the various things Huawei is alleged to have done are part of a larger plan to profit off illegal activities.”

RICO is notoriously hard to prove because you have to prove various underlying crimes, and then that it was part of a larger enterprise whose purpose is to profit off those crimes,” he added. “I can’t recall this ever being used against a major corporation like this, especially a non-U.S. corporation.”

In our own research, we could not find RICO being used against such a large corporation by the federal government.

The Huawei Enterprise was engaged in, and its activities affected, interstate and foreign commerce,” prosecutors wrote in the indictment. “The principal purpose of the Huawei Enterprise was to grow the global ‘Huawei’ brand into one of the most powerful telecommunications equipment and consumer electronics companies in the world by entering, developing and dominating the markets for telecommunications and consumer electronics technology and services in each of the countries in which the Huawei Enterprise operated.”

Prosecutors wrote that Huawei and its affiliates stole from at least six U.S. companies. That includes the theft of router source code from an unnamed Company 1 (as TechCrunch noted, likely Cisco) that Huawei then used to offer their own product at a lower price. In another alleged instance, the indictment claims a Huawei engineer was caught in the act of entering a competitor’s booth at Chicago trade show in the dead of night before “removing the cover from a networking device and taking photographs of the circuitry inside.” (Said engineer was caught wearing a badge that said “Weihua,” a spoonerism of Huawei.) Another unnamed Company 6 is written to have sent over a “Proprietary and Confidential” pitch deck to Huawei in an attempt to create a partnership, after which Huawei promptly distributed confidential technical info inside to its engineers.

The indictment also covers claims introduced in the Western District case, including the alleged theft of “Tappy” and an a Huawei bonus program overseen by managers for employees who stole confidential data from competitors. It also contains new details of alleged efforts by Huawei personnel to lie to federal investigators and obstruct justice, saying Huawei kept a manual listed as “Top Secret” with instructions for its corporate spies to “conceal their employment with HUAWEI during encounters with foreign law enforcement officials.” Finally, the indictment claims that Huawei personnel lie to FBI and Congress in an effort to cover up illegal dealings in Iran and North Korea, where it was doing business through “local affiliates” like Skycom.

Prosecutors are now demanding civil forfeiture of assets and profits related to the racketeering and trade theft conspiracy charges, as well as any profits from the alleged wire and banking fraud scheme to dodge sanctions. Huawei claimed over $122 billion in sales revenue in 2019 and the brand is valued at around eight billion by Forbes, meaning the implications are huge. Though most of that is in China, where the company is headquartered and the government is unlikely to take action against its own nationals.

U.S. intelligence officials have also recently claimed (under the cover of anonymity, and without providing specifics) that they have hard evidence Huawei has been building surveillance backdoors into telco equipment it has been selling overseas to spy on behalf of Chinese military and security services. News of the indictment and the supposed smoking gun in the espionage claims hits as Germany, one of the allies the U.S. has been urging to reject Huawei, is making a decision as to whether to include it in a 5G infrastructure plan. The firm is also facing numerous sanctions by the Commerce Department and federal government that have greatly hurt its ability to do business.

Huawei strongly denies that it is a security threat and has cast the trade theft allegations as incorrect or the work of rogue employees. The U.S. and China continue to wage a trade war that has had major effects on global commerce, which has sparked suspicions that the escalating U.S. campaign against Huawei may be more of a political hostage-taking by the Trump administration designed to coerce its Chinese counterparts into striking a deal.

Huawei didn’t respond to a request for comment by Gizmodo, and we’ll update this post if we hear back.

Source: gizmodo.com “Looks Like Huawei Might Be Screwed This Time”

Note: This is guzmodo.com’s article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.

Germany Follows UK Not to Ban Huawei, Where Is US Leadership?

Financial Times says in its article “Germany’s CDU stops short of Huawei ban in 5G rollout” yesterday, “Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union has backed a strategy paper that could potentially curtail Huawei’s involvement in Germany’s 5G rollout by barring ‘untrustworthy’ companies deemed to be subject to state influence from the process. But the recommendations will disappoint the US by stopping short of banning Huawei technology outright. Ms Merkel, the German chancellor, has opposed any attempt to single out the Chinese telecoms equipment maker, preferring instead to tighten security requirements on all suppliers.”

In order to contain China, the US has tried hard to force its allies to ban Huawei with the threat of ceasing intelligence sharing, but like UK who has allowed use of Huawei equipment with some restrictions, Germany is unwilling to follow US leadership in containing China.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Financial Times’ article, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.ft.com/content/e17ba42a-4ce1-11ea-95a0-43d18ec715f5.

Angry Trump Now Helpless To Stop Huawei’s Stunning Victory: This Week Everything Changes

Zak DoffmanContributor

AFP via Getty Images

The diplomatic spat between Washington and London continues to spiral us into unknown territory this weekend, with the news that even President Trump’s personal plea to Prime Minister Johnson on Friday evening has not pulled the U.K. back from the brink of its decision to allow Chinese tech giant Huawei into its 5G network.

The Sunday Times reported on January 26 that “Trump’s anger” would cast a cloud over the U.K.’s Brexit week, and that the president had told Johnson “that giving a green light to the [Huawei] deal would be a grave threat to national security.” There was even a suggestion from the U.S. that the two countries might forge an alternative to Huawei. The U.K., though, takes the view that to do so would take too long.

With a U.K. Huawei decision expected on Tuesday, January 28, the intensity around U.S. and U.K discussions is only matched by the fierce debate raging within the U.K. government itself. Johnson’s more hawkish cabinet members are said to be furious at the prospect of being “bounced” into a pro-Huawei decision. According to the Sunday Times, one source sourly suggested that “Huawei is next week’s Chinese virus.”

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will make a last ditch attempt to sway minds in the U.K. this week, but sources close to events believe this is a now a done deal. There is even talk of a choreographed announcement on Tuesday involving Huawei itself. One would imagine that such a spectacle would be highly incendiary to the U.S.

Writing in the Sunday Times, British MP Bob Seely, a candidate to head the foreign affairs select committee, warned that the country may “regret our refusal to say ‘no way, Huawei’,” adding that he fears that “by the time we see the real cost, in the decades to come, it may be too late.”

On Friday, it was reported that Trump’s immediate riposte to Huawei, to significantly tighten sanctions against the company to damage its supply chain further has been thwarted by the Department of Defense, the argument being that such a move would damage U.S. industry and innovation. This led to an angry challenge from leading senators who suggested to the Pentagon that U.S. companies contracting with Huawei was akin to the same being down with KGB subsidiaries during the Cold War.

Now another letter has now been crafted from U.S. senators, this one directed at the U.K.’s National Security Council. The letter says that the Huawei decision is linked to the special relationship between the two countries. While specifically pulling back from trade agreement or intelligence-sharing threats, Senators Rubio, Cotton and Cornyn urge the U.K. to “make the right decision on Huawei,” which they stress would be “in the best interests” of that relationship.

It remains unclear what will actually happen on Tuesday if the U.K. does not take a last minute U-turn on Huawei. Spooks on both sides of the Atlantic are divided as to the actual risks and the practical application of any change to security alliances. What will be more of an immediate issue is other countries around the world, all of which are less capable than the U.K. of mitigating any Huawei risks, using the U.K. decision as an excuse to defy U.S. warnings. If it’s good enough for Washington’s closest ally, they will argue, it’s good enough for us.

Johnson remains in a bind on the issue. It is tricky for the U.K. to completely backtrack on Huawei without incurring significant cost and delays to the critical 5G rollout. At the same time, if he is seen to kowtow to Washington against the advice of his officials, it will play badly domestically—there is no popular uprising in the U.K. against Huawei. And so, it is likely that Johnson is taking a Brexit-like “let’s just get it done,” after which reparations can be made and political concessions offered.

And so all eyes are on what happens post-Tuesday, when absent any last minute shock, the U.K. will confirm the inevitable. Months of lobbying and wrangling will come to an end—at which point the real work begins as everything changes. Much of this work will be political, and the U.S. will need to be seen to act in some capacity to back up the risks they have raised and the mitigating actions they have threatened.

Whether there is any security or trade deal hangover from these events will be the subject of intense speculation in the coming weeks. While it is unlikely to scupper a trade deal, one can assume some impact. For the U.S., such as been the intensity of its lobbying that it cannot simply roll over on the issue—that would undermine its case. But any action could well be limited to the optics around security arrangements and need not interfere in anything commercial.

For the U.K., with the security issue settled other issues will come to the fore. Chief amongst these will be Huawei’s work in Xinjiang, where its technology forms part of the surveillance programs subjugating the Uighur minority. If the U.K. decision turns up the political heat on Huawei to face up to Beijing and back away from all such involvement, then at least something good will have come from this protracted process.

Source: Forbes “Angry Trump Now Helpless To Stop Huawei’s Stunning Victory: This Week Everything Changes”

Note: This is Forbes’ article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views

Johnson will defy US and allow use of Huawei, says top security adviser

Chinese firm poised to help build UK’s 5G phone network despite warnings about spying

Michael Savage

Sat 18 Jan 2020 22.05 GMT

Boris Johnson is likely to approve the use of Huawei technology in the UK’s new 5G network against the pleas of the US government, a former national security adviser has said.

Sir Mark Lyall Grant, who was Theresa May’s national security adviser, said that the security services had repeatedly concluded over several years that they were able to mitigate any potential threats posed by the Chinese technology.

The US has warned the British government it “would be madness” to use Huawei technology and senior Washington officials have said numerous times that the Trump administration would reassess intelligence sharing with the UK in light of such a move.

However, UK security figures dispute the claim and Britain has already used some Huawei technology in previous mobile networks. A final decision is expected later this month.

Lyall Grant told the Observer: “This has been gone into now by three different administrations, and I think the outcome is quite likely to be the same – that the intelligence agencies are expressing confidence that they can sufficiently mitigate any potential security threat to allow Huawei to continue to provide at least the non-core telecommunications equipment for 5G rollout. The government has developed an oversight mechanism which they are confident will work.

Combine that with the fact that Huawei has more advanced technology than the alternatives, I think it is relatively likely that Boris Johnson will come to the same conclusion.”

Two of Britain’s biggest telecoms companies, BT and Vodafone, are understood to be drafting a letter to Johnson, setting out their support for Huawei’s involvement in 5G.

Last night, a senior Huawei executive, Victor Zhang, said there was simply “no justification” for banning the company on cyber security grounds.

After looking at the facts, we hope the government agrees – so that our customers can keep the UK’s 5G roll-out on track and meet the prime minister’s promise of gigabit connectivity for all,” he said.

Giving Huawei the go-ahead to continue supplying equipment will mean telecoms companies have access to the best technology and the breadth of suppliers they need to build secure, resilient and reliable networks.”

The dispute was a sign that Britain would be repeatedly asked to take a side in disputes between the US and China, Lyall Grant added. “The interesting thing about Huawei is that it is the first, but by no means the only issue on which the risk is over the next decade, we are going to be pressured to choose,” he said. “And that is a choice that on some issues the UK government is not going to want to make.”

Source: The Guardian “Johnson will defy US and allow use of Huawei, says top security adviser”

Note: This is The Guardian’s article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.