from the i-guess-they-would-know... dept
You may recall that, late in 2012, the House Intelligence Committee, led by dishonest NSA defender Rep. Mike Rogers, put out a report claiming that Americans should not use networking equipment made by Huawei, the Chinese networking giant, hinting that the company might be inserting backdoors and spyware into the equipment for the Chinese government. Huawei -- which had actually previously publicly asked the US government to investigate it to prove that such claims were false -- was not at all pleased about this, claiming that the whole thing was libelous and "utterly lacking in substance." A month ago, Huawei suggested that it was going to just ditch the US market because of all of this.
And yet... the recent NSA revelations about its technical capabilities to backdoor various hardware products showed that it's actually the NSA which has backdoors in Huawei's equipment. That doesn't foreclose the possibility that the Chinese have hacked it as well, but it sure looks ridiculous. As the Wired article linked above summarizes: "US to China: We hacked your internet gear we told you not to hack." This certainly plays into the hands of the Chinese, who have long argued that the attack on Huawei by Mike Rogers and friends was really just an attempt to pump up US-based competitors like Cisco (whose products the NSA has also apparently compromised).
And then there's the whole "BIOS" attack thing. You may recall that the big "scoop" in the hilariously lopsided 60 Minutes infomercial for the NSA by John Miller (a counterterrorism official pretending to be a journalist), was that there was some scary foreign threat out there from another country that was going to "infect the BIOS" of every computer on earth and turn them all into bricks. Experts pointed out that the claims were pure gibberish.
Except in that same report about the NSA's technical capabilities came the news that it's the NSA that is installing malware in the BIOS. As Marcy Wheeler notes:
Most fearmongering claims the NSA makes may well be projection about its own activities.None of this means that others (and the finger is usually pointed at the Chinese) aren't doing the same sorts of things themselves. But it sure does seem pretty hypocritical to go around fearmongering about the things that we, ourselves, are doing.