Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
China Government Security United States Your Rights Online

US Government Probes Huawei and ZTE 122

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the dsm-v-to-add-congressional-service-to-axis-ii dept.
judgecorp writes "Two leading Chinese telecoms companies, Huawei and ZTE, are under investigation for possible spying in the U.S. A government committee says the companies may be stealing U.S. economic secrets, and use of their equipment might open U.S. infrastructure to espionage."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

US Government Probes Huawei and ZTE

Comments Filter:
  • by Chris Mattern (191822) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @10:40AM (#38148108)

    The Chinese government is not in charge of Gundam!

  • Well... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I would have used a spying int, but that's just me.

  • the motive in selling in usa isn't profit?

    what about the motives for cisco selling in china?

  • Duh! (Score:5, Informative)

    by DontBlameCanada (1325547) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @10:45AM (#38148166)

    Huawei is a Chinese government funded company. I'm sure the funding isn't charity.

    I would've thought after Huawei was caught stealing cisco tech (http://newsroom.cisco.com/dlls/Cisco_Mot_for_PI.pdf), that they'd be blackballed for any government network deployments.

    • Re:Duh! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Joce640k (829181) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @10:58AM (#38148300) Homepage

      Yeah, but every single country in the world does this. Including the USA (the USA is actually one of the worst, it's not even government level stuff, it's handing Airbus secrets to Boeing so they can compete, stuff like that).

      Why all the stories about Chinese spying...? It's just more smoke and mirrors to give the population something to focus on other than the government's failure.

      • Re:Duh! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by robmv (855035) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @11:10AM (#38148406)

        That USA do this does not means that they must allow the Chinese to do it, vice versa is true too, spying is not something that follows reciprocity

        • by Joce640k (829181)

          That's not really the point. The point is that "China" is the only name that ever appears on TV. China is the new Eastasia ... and it's war!

      • by jgtg32a (1173373)
        Any sources on that?
      • Re:Duh! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by joocemann (1273720) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @12:19PM (#38149354)

        No. The frequency by which China can be indicated in espionage is a tell of the size of their collection eforts.... MASSIVE.

        You hear about espionage on their part every couple weeks. Nearly every espionage related incident originates from the same source. It is reckless to assume its because they have poor tradecraft and get caught. A better and more real assumption is that the freq of esp. Being caught is a tell of the overall size.

        • No, the frequency by which China can be indicated in espionage is a tell of WHERE YOU ARE STANDING AT THE TIME.

          Depending on where you stand, any number of countries will be the one that spies the most.

    • That and the fact they make shitty, barely functioning products. Anybody know if they've ever actually produced a wireless product that didn't overheat or have power issues after 5 minutes of use? I sure haven't seen one!

    • by Alarash (746254)
      Every Chinese company has to be owned at least at 51% by their government. They are communists, remember?

      I'm not feeling bad one bit for Cisco. They wanted to cut costs by outsourcing in China, and it bit them in the ass. They settled out of court so we don't know what the end deal was, but the word around the campfire is that Cisco now gets paid any time Huawey sells something.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @10:45AM (#38148172)

    The best way to compete with China is probably to give them all the secrets to our current economy and hope they use them.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @10:51AM (#38148222)

      The US economy is actually working great. You might be under the false impression that you're one of the people it's intended to work for. But the people who have 10,000 times your income couldn't be happier.

      • Actually, it's the people with 10,000 times our income that are having the big problems. It all stems from greed, crooked accounting and poor business practices. The problem is the upper class defrauded their way into wealth and now it's catching up with them and as a result the problems are trickling down to us. Sadly, a lot of the 'super-rich' are broke and they're just now realizing all of their wealth was built on lies and deception. I have a friend with a supposed net worth over 10 million, last week I
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Lol, he's super rich because he knows how to save his money by getting suckers like you to pick up his tabs!!!

          • He doesn't have any money. He has a lot of assets, but no cash. You can't go to McDonalds and buy lunch with the title on a strip mall. Those assets cost him a lot of money each month to keep, more than what they're currently bringing in. In order to have cash to maintain his assets, pay his utilities, buy groceries or pick up lunch he has to sell assets (which were once income producing and are now income draining). Do you know how hard it is to sell an asset that is bleeding money? He has to sell way belo
            • by vux984 (928602) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @03:50PM (#38151464)

              He might have 10 million in assets, but if he has 10.25 million in liabilities than "on paper" he's in the hole a quarter million bucks.

              The whole "worth a lot on paper" idiom generally refers to people who actually are worth a lot, but have no liquid cash. Typically, they can get liquidity by selling a few assets... presumably well below market value, since the assets aren't all that liquid... but he'll still end up way ahead of zero. WAY AHEAD.

              Your friend sounds like he's bankrupt on paper, but in practice is ahead of most bankrupt people because at least there is a chance his investments will turn around and pull him back into the black.

      • by mmcuh (1088773)
        I have 10000 times my own income, you insensitive clod!
    • Lets just give them our politicians. That combined with corporate payoffs^t^t^t^t^t^t^t "Campaign Contributions" is the secret to our current economic condition.

  • China can steal our military secrets.
    They can take our economic secrets.
    The commies can nick our industrial secrets.

    but they will never discover Victoria's secret.

  • by Chrisq (894406) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @10:52AM (#38148224)

    US Government Probes Huawei and ZTE On Spying Char

    IS that a new brand of Chinese tea "spi ying char"

  • by Manip (656104) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @10:53AM (#38148236)
    The US might be doing this for honest reasons but then again they might be doing this because US based communications manufacturers are unhappy with companies like ZTE undercutting them using the free and Open Source Android OS.

    I bet US based companies can find tons of patents that Chinese companies are infringing. But then again many of these patents are overly broad and are largely being used in an anti-competitive way.

    Plus the whole accusation of spying, unless shown to be true, I read as akin to "buying from China isn't patriotic." If the US had evidence of ZTE spying on them you sure as hell would be reading about it right now.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @12:02PM (#38149106)

      I used to work for Ericsson, now I work for Alcatel-Lucent, both at US offices, but not US companies. One of the things we've noticed is anywhere one of those two companies opens an office, shortly after, huawei opens an office within 10 miles. I swear it's true. Right now I'm sitting less than 5 miles from one of their office, at my old office, the story was the same, and remember the ericsson and alcatel offices are only 50 miles away from eachother, yet huawei has two, one close to ericsson, one close to alcatel. We started keeping track once we noticed at first. When at Ericsson, we'd always laugh that when we published our roadmap, 2 days later huawei would publish theirs, and it'd look similar so we started screwing with our roadmaps. I understand that in slashdot it's popular to go "ohhh evil amerika!!!!!!!!!!! they do it two!!!!!" but really, the behavior of chinese companies is more than a little suspect.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I used to work for Ericsson, now I work for Alcatel-Lucent, both at US offices, but not US companies. One of the things we've noticed is anywhere one of those two companies opens an office, shortly after, huawei opens an office within 10 miles. I swear it's true. Right now I'm sitting less than 5 miles from one of their office, at my old office, the story was the same, and remember the ericsson and alcatel offices are only 50 miles away from eachother, yet huawei has two, one close to ericsson, one close to alcatel. We started keeping track once we noticed at first. When at Ericsson, we'd always laugh that when we published our roadmap, 2 days later huawei would publish theirs, and it'd look similar so we started screwing with our roadmaps. I understand that in slashdot it's popular to go "ohhh evil amerika!!!!!!!!!!! they do it two!!!!!" but really, the behavior of chinese companies is more than a little suspect.

        Post as anon, for obvious reasons. I worked for an American mobile phone manufacturer (I'll let you take a wild guess which company this is) who at some point in the past opened manufacturing plants in East Asia, and who started offshoring engineering tasks in China. Stuff was copied off source control and prototypes and blue prints "disappeared", but upper management didn't quite give a shit as "offshoring == cost savings" and "cost savings == good". One would wonder if upper management was getting somethi

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I used to work for Ericsson, now I work for Alcatel-Lucent, both at US offices, but not US companies. One of the things we've noticed is anywhere one of those two companies opens an office, shortly after, huawei opens an office within 10 miles. I swear it's true. Right now I'm sitting less than 5 miles from one of their office, at my old office, the story was the same, and remember the ericsson and alcatel offices are only 50 miles away from eachother, yet huawei has two, one close to ericsson, one close to alcatel. We started keeping track once we noticed at first. When at Ericsson, we'd always laugh that when we published our roadmap, 2 days later huawei would publish theirs, and it'd look similar so we started screwing with our roadmaps. I understand that in slashdot it's popular to go "ohhh evil amerika!!!!!!!!!!! they do it two!!!!!" but really, the behavior of chinese companies is more than a little suspect.

        The did the same in Sweden, opened an office just beside the Sony-Ericsson Symbian division, and hired allot of the developers after SE closed the Symbian division!

  • by FTWinston (1332785) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @10:55AM (#38148266) Homepage

    It was free with our ISP, so don't judge me. (We're with TalkTalk in the UK ... ok, do judge me.)

    It used client-side validation only to determine whether or not I was entering a valid port to forward to. By copying the admin page to my local machine and updating the target, I was able to remove the validation and set up my port forward to .255 ... I managed to resist the urge of setting up a forward to something actually invalid, in case the router completely died on me.

    If the guys that made my router are spies ... they're not very good.

    • An IP address isn't necessarily invalid because it ends in .255. If the web interface is simply preventing you from entering any address ending in 255 then that's another broken thing on that router.

  • by MikeRT (947531) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @10:59AM (#38148304) Homepage

    The People's Republic of China is a totalitarian state and most of its "private industry" is a facade for their civilian government or military. They routinely get caught with massive espionage operations in other countries. Whatever good that can from theoretically lower prices are negated by everything else that'll come with their increased role.

    Even if the federal government so thoroughly separated itself from the telecommunication system that the NSA spy scandal was not even remotely possible, letting China get its tentacles deeper into our country's workings is asking for a lot of trouble. If in time they establish a backbone connection to Asia, you can bet your ass their spy agencies will be tapping it harder than a keg of top grade beer at a college party.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by MadMaverick9 (1470565)

      The People's Republic of China is a totalitarian state

      take a close look at yourself first before judging other countries.

      UC Davis Protestors Pepper Sprayed [youtube.com]

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Yes, because the scope of a country as large as China can *SURELY* be comparable to the smaller scope of Davis, California, USA. Wait, UC Davis is a country????

        • by omen (38605)

          Funny enough, around Davis it is known as "The People's Republic of Davis".

      • by Cragen (697038)
        Better than tanks, imho.
        • And a bullet in the back of the head (pointing downwards in order to preserve the eyes for organ harvesting).
      • by hedwards (940851) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @11:22AM (#38148578)

        Oh, please, compared with the rights abuses in China that's not even worth mentioning.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Even though there are some incidents in the US (we are not perfect by any means), it is nowhere near the level of China(although it seems to be moving in that direction currently). If Occupy was operating in China, the leaders would likely be imprisoned. I am getting tired of poor comparisons.

      • by Dishevel (1105119)

        Shit.
        I have spent time trying to be nice and stuff.
        Now you come along with a dipshit stupid comment like that and blow it for me.
        I am trying my best here people. I am trying to not be a snarky internet asshole.
        I really am.I can only think that MadMaverick has figured out that I was trying to improve myself and thought that me becoming a better human would make his rankings go down. Therefore he has set out to sabotage my efforts by making a comment so stupid that I can not resist.

        But I am smarter than him.

      • take a close look at yourself first before judging other countries.

        To even compare the US with China on these grounds does nothing but make them look less evil by comparison. It's like telling someone who spanks their children a little too much to "clean up their own house before passing judgment" on someone who beats the ever loving shit out of their kid on a weekly basis.

      • That posting is a classic example of the Chinese Water Army...trying to flood out any criticism of China.
      • by drnb (2434720)

        The People's Republic of China is a totalitarian state

        take a close look at yourself first before judging other countries.

        Sure, no problem.
        USA crowd control and protester dispersion: Police with pepper spray.
        Chinese crowd control and protester dispersion: Soldiers with live ammunition.

        Your suggestion sure was insightful. It really helps contrast the two countries quite nicely.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Tell me about China's invented wars for pure profit, killing thousands.... Or all the south american countries in which China staged coup d'etats in the 60s and 70s.

      Please, tell me about all of that, and then tell me about china's illegal imprisonment camps in cuba.

      I'd love to hear all that, so I can compare their evil to the human rights champion, the US of A.

  • Huawei and ZTE have not done any industrial espionage that we know of (or espionage of any kind, for that matter). Nor is the investigation by the House of Representatives’ intelligence committee, in fact, concerned with any espionage done by either Huawei or ZTE. Also, it should be noted that Huawei have opened their hardware to inspection by the British government. Inaccurate post titles like these come at the expense of discussion, since less and less people are actually reading the stories posted
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Are you insane? You know Huawei lost a lawsuit to Cisco about this, right?

    • use of their equipment might open U.S. infrastructure to espionage

      makes one wonder what U.S. equipment (made by cisco, microsoft et.al.), which is used all over the world, can do for U.S. govt agencies.

      anybody remember japan in the 1970s [google.com]?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by shuttah (2475982)

        Interesting.

        I don't think the immediate characterization of Huawei as a puppet to Beijing is altogether justified, seeing how here in America we have SPECIFIC branches of the government - like the CIA - making donations to stateside companies - like Facebook.

        The CIA donates to a social network (facebook) = China blocks the network (Facebook).

        Then America calls it censorship.

        But when Beijing donates ($8 Million) to Huawei and America blocks it...

        America says it's National Security?

        • by Kagura (843695)
          How do you know the CIA donates money to Facebook? Because "it's obvious"? I'd like to see anything substantial to back up that claim.
          • http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2008/jan/14/facebook [guardian.co.uk]

            Facebook's most recent round of funding was led by a company called Greylock Venture Capital, who put in the sum of $27.5m. One of Greylock's senior partners is called Howard Cox, another former chairman of the NVCA, who is also on the board of In-Q-Tel. What's In-Q-Tel? Well, believe it or not (and check out their website), this is the venture-capital wing of the CIA.

  • "If you can't beat them, make up frivolous charges against them...that way, you could at least slow them down."

    Fact: US technology companies are struggling.
    Fact: There is little they can do.
    Fact: The US government would like to see this turned around.
    Fact: The US government has the means to do something about it.

    This sounds like a preface from Microsoft's playbook. That is, "if you cannot beat them, go the courts with frivolous [patent] lawsuits", where you can land some success in as far as slowing them

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by boristdog (133725)

      This sounds like a preface from APPLE'S playbook.

      FTFY.

      • by Bucky24 (1943328)
        The Playbook was from RIM, was it not? (sarcasm, folks, I know what parent really meant)
    • Fact: The US government has the means to do something about it.

      ...but not the willpower.

      Hearings and allegations that change nothing are cheap and easy. Unfucking public education would be slow, difficult and expensive. Guess which we'll get.

  • Industrial espionage (Score:5, Interesting)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @11:15AM (#38148478)
    Everyone is so concerned about China, but wouldn't you know, France is so well-known for industrial espionage that executives for pharmaceuticals and large companies are told not to use fax machines in hotel rooms because the lines are monitored, or send unencrypted email, etc. Laptops not only aren't allowed to be left unattended, most people in the know won't let sensitive information be left on them -- encrypted or not.

    Everyone acts like China invented industrial espionage. Well, they didn't... they're just really bad at it, which is why everyone is noticing them. First rule of effective espionage: Don't suck.

    • by hedwards (940851)

      To be fair, most of those practices should be much more prevalent than they are. I mean how many times do customers have to have their identities stolen because of sloppy handling of PII?

    • Do executives (or anyone else) generally send unencrypted mail and leave their laptops unattended (or unsecured) anywhere in the world?

      I'd like to see your actual concrete references for France being well known for industrial espionage.

    • France does industrial spying. Chinese firms are more interested in spying on industry AND western gov. There is a big difference. China is in a cold war with the west. France is not in a cold war.
      • There is a big difference. China is in a cold war with the west. France is not in a cold war.

        Using that logic, which scenario is "worse"?
        a) A well-dressed man steals $1000 from you.
        b) A man dressed in rags steals $1000 from you.
        c) Doesn't matter. You're still out $1000.

        • d) man claiming to be friend steals 1000 blindly, and then at the end, puts your stolen gun to your head and says give up or we shot.

          d
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Pretty much any major international company understands that if they do business with China they will try to steal information and secrets.

  • Everytime I hear a story about the Chinese spying I want to smack the shit out of someone. The U.S. has caused itself so much harm in the outsourcing of every fing thing ever manufactured. The outsourcing of Electronics manufacturing is by far the most damaging thing the U.S. and companies who have looked for cheaper and lax regulatory laws on everything from pay scale to EPA violations.
    I won't even get into the discussion of Labor Unions.

    I don't want to hear anymore stories about Chinese spying. They have

  • "...stealing secrets worth millions of dollars in intellectual property”, said committee chairman Mike Rogers

    I stopped reading there. Shove your intellectual property up your ass.

  • Huawei and Ericsson (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @11:31AM (#38148704)

    I used to work for Ericsson in Sweden, and it was a well know fact that Huawei stole a lot of research material from the company. There was a case were a Chinese employee was caught hard copying (-as in Xerox) several research papers (I don't remember all of it, but I think even the Chinese embassy was involved).

    One of the few things Ericsson has going for them is their research (since their services division is a joke and doesn't bring any substantial revenue for the company), but if this continues they will be dead on the water in 10 years time.

    Funny thing about all of this is that Ericsson has a research center in China, from where they bring those 'employees' who end up getting the info for Huawei.

  • ...is actually true by scanning all the chips and figuring out exactly what they do?
    Pretty sure its impossible to hide things in hardware that easily to the point where nobody would notice it.
    Can make it extremely complex, but still not impossible.

    Also pretty sure this has been done before by people with significantly less resources in order to crack gaming machines and the like.
    I remember hearing how 360 was supposedly impossible to crack because it used extremely precise timings or some nonsense in order

  • is an "economic secret"?? feels like federal agencies are getting nervous around all the budget cuts that are about to kick in from the super committee failure.
    • To me an economic secret is a trade secret that allows a company to manufacture and sell product (or conceivably services) at a level that, should this secret be compromised, would result in a loss of jobs significant enough to impact the economy as a whole.

  • Even if a review shows that there is currently no cause for alarm any future software upgrade could include backdoors or time bombs.

    Besides which, as long as CEOs are willing to sell the company proprietary tech for a big immediate payoff and related bonuses for themselves regardless of how that leaves the company and its employees in the long run then it doesn't make much difference anyway.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Of COURSE they are spying. Simply look at what happened with Google. These businesses are owned by the gov. or loyal party members.

    Take it a step further. They are dumping solar products on the west, as way to destroy economy. This approach will continue until the west decides to put a stop to this. Basically, USA needs to balance our budget and then raise trade barriers.

    What is amazing is that the west has not changed their ways. We are so into greed that we allow this crap. Simple things like insisting

  • by pkphilip (6861) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @01:55PM (#38150336)

    The Indian intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) put out a notice in 2010 claiming that Huawei is involved in spying for the Chinese government.
    http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2010-05-07/news/27580384_1_chinese-telecom-huawei-technologies-ren-zhengfei [indiatimes.com]

  • by williamyf (227051) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @03:39PM (#38151336)

    Huawei has been asking for some time for a public inquiry about these alledged ties with the red army, istead of being stonewalled in their initiatives with what they call excuses.

    Having said that, be carefull what you wish for, now they have the govt probe they requested, if the allegations are found to be true, all hell will break lose.

    The probe is not only to see if chinese makers are spying, but also to see if the relevant intel agencies in the us are capable of detecting the spionage, as well as countering it.

    Full idsclosure: I worked in Huawei for a year.

    Clarification: Not many people know, Huawei does not trade in any stock exchange (so, less scrutiny and compliance burden, they have IIRC KPMG auditing their stuff, but the stuff is never published), but, allegedly, there is no govt participation in it. On the other hand, ZTE trades in some exchanges (mainly shangai), so there is more transarency, but the chinese govt. owns something along the lines of 20~30% of the shares.

  • by WaffleMonster (969671) on Wednesday November 23, 2011 @03:44PM (#38151398)

    I have it on good authority the chinese shall soon be seeking to propogate an order 66 TLV throughout BGP after which control of the minds of the entire worlds population are instantly placed under direct control of the chinese empire.

    TSMC has been secretly injecting mind control antennas in a secret metal layer of every chip they've stamped over the last decade just waiting for the command... Huawei, ZTE and Lenovo are just the tip of the iceburg. We are already doomed..their antennas are in every recent device with a processor on the planet. All of the tools that can be used to detect them were the first to have been compromised.

  • the companies may be stealing U.S. economic secrets,

    ...another 50 years or so we can expect China's economic system to collapse as well...

  • Anyone have the feeling that if the US and China ever went to war, half the computer systems in the US and other allied nations would act in a similar to the colonial computer systems in the initial cylon attack in battlestar gallactica?

  • Jobs killed Western society with Eastern technology.

"No problem is so formidable that you can't walk away from it." -- C. Schulz

Working...