U.S.: We Have No Evidence Or Credibility On This Whatsoever, But Don't Use Huawei Because China Might Spy On You
from the inconsistent-standards dept
Even before the NSA scandal broke, I’ve been endlessly entertained watching the blistering hypocrisy toward Chinese network hardware vendor Huawei. For years Huawei has been accused of being a Chinese spy, even if investigations seem to repeatedly show no actual evidence of Chinese spying. We’re not talking about superficial inquiries, we’re talking about eighteen month, in-depth reviews by people with every interest in exposing them. Despite no evidence, every few months or so somebody in the government trots out Huawei as a bogeyman they can toss about for one political reason or another.
Never mind that almost all network gear is made in China (whether the company is Chinese or not). Never mind that obviously NSA allegations show the United States spies on almost everyone, constantly. Never mind that reports have emerged that a lot of the spy allegations are originating with their competitor Cisco. Huawei is a spy. We’re sure of it. And covert network snooping is bad. When China does it.
The constant allegations ultimately scuttled Huawei’s attempt to bring more gear competition to the United States market, blocked Huawei’s potential bid on a nationwide U.S. first responder network, and the United States has since been working hard to ensure that other countries don’t use Huawei gear either. According to the Wall Street Journal, after convincing Australia to ditch Huawei gear, the United States is also warning South Korea that Huawei might just be a spy, apparently citing all of the non-existent evidence already mentioned:
“In meetings with their South Korean counterparts in recent months, senior U.S. officials pointed to what Washington sees as a risk that Huawei’s equipment could be used for spying on communications among the close partners, as well as compromise secure networks used by American military personnel and intelligence officers in South Korea, U.S. officials said.”
The idea that somebody would indiscriminately spy using network gear sure sounds terrifying. Fortunately, United States to South Korea communications will instead rely on gear from any number of network hardware vendors, whose equipment is also built in China — in many instances in the exact same factories by the exact same workers. Not to say China is an angel or doesn’t spy (though I should note their gear is considered good enough to filter UK porn), but at this juncture the United States giving lectures on network privacy is like Lindsay Lohan giving advice on balanced and healthy living. Gosh, one would hate to think that years of trotting Huawei out as a political bogeyman pinata was all just an elaborate song and dance put on simply to sell more Cisco and Juniper routers.