Your Choice of Technology Determines Which Government Spies on You
Recent revelations showed that American companies assisted the NSA in the massive internet surveillance operation made public by former contractor Edward Snowden. Now former head of the CIA Michael Hayden has now said that it “goes without saying” that the Chinese telecom firm Huawei spies for Beijing.
“And, at a minimum, Huawei would have shared with the Chinese state intimate and extensive knowledge of the foreign telecommunications systems it is involved with. I think that goes without saying,” he said.
Mr Hayden made the claim while speaking to the Australian Financial Review. He said that China was involved in unrestricted espionage against western targets, and that Huawei would be sharing information with the state for this purpose.
When asked if the firm represents an unambiguous threat to the national security of the US and Australia he replied “Yes, I believe it does.” He also states that it is his belief that western intelligence agencies already have concrete evidence that the company has engaged in spying activities on behalf of the Chinese government.
Mr Hayden described it as unacceptable for Huawei “to be creating the backbone of the domestic telecommunications network in the United States.”
Huawei has come under fire for working with the Chinese government before, although the company itself denies any connections to state agencies. The US Congress last year called for the company to be excluded from government contracts, and it was also barred from bidding for contracts to build the Australian broadband network.
There is a danger that if technology firms around the world fall under the influence of their government then a new protectionism could emerge, where each country trusts only it own domestic firms and actively excludes companies from ‘untrustworthy’ countries.