Huawei isn’t new to controversies. Last year, the US blacklisted the Chinese telecom giant and prevented local companies from sourcing equipment or offering services to it, barring some exceptions. It even came to a point that Google had to ban Huawei from using its version of the Android mobile operating system. Since then the company has been on a roller coaster of a ride. A fresh report indicates Huawei could get in more trouble, at least as far as the US is concerned. US officials have reportedly said that Huawei has backdoor access to mobile networks across the world. The company, however, has denied it.
US officials have told the Wall Street Journal that they have evidence that the Chinese telecom giant secretly possesses the capability to access private information in ‘systems it maintains and sells around the world’. The WSJ has quoted US National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien in the report.
Huawei is said to have been using backdoors that were purely created for law enforcement agencies over the last 10 years or so. US officials claim they’ve shared the details with their counterparts in the UK and Germany sometime last year.
The so-called backdoors have been deployed in Huawei’s base stations, switching equipment, antennas, and other networking gear, according to the WSJ report.
According to the report, Huawei has disputed these fresh claims, saying neither the company nor its employees are allowed to access any network without approval from a network operator. It’s worth mentioned here that this isn’t the first time Huawei has been accused of having backdoors in its products, an allegation the company has repeatedly denied in the past.
Earlier this year, a senior US administration official expressed the government’s ‘disappointment’ after the UK decided to allow Huawei to deploy 5G networks in the country. The US had even threatened to limit the sharing of intelligence with its UK counterparts, as a result of the decision.
Meanwhile, Huawei had received approval from the Indian government in December last year, to participate in 5G trials in the country. However, it’s still an approval for a trial and doesn’t guarantee full approval for a commercial rollout yet.