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China Security Hardware

The Chinese Telecom That Spooks the World 153

Posted by samzenpus
from the trust-us dept.
wrekkuh writes "The Economist has printed an interesting look at the concerns and speculations of the fast-growing Chinese telecom giant Huawei, and its spread into western markets. Of particular concern is Huawei's state funding, and the company's founder, Ren Zhengfei, who once served as an engineer in the People's Liberation Army (PLA). However, another article from The Economist goes into greater detail about the steps Huawei has taken to mitigate some of these concerns in England — including co-operating with the GCHQ in Britain, the UK's signals-intelligence agency, to ensure equipment built by Huawei is not back-doored."
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The Chinese Telecom That Spooks the World

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 05, 2012 @04:49PM (#40888717)

    How can you be absolutely sure they are not back-doored?

  • racism much? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 05, 2012 @04:53PM (#40888759)

    Why is it ok that all internet equipment cc's a copy to the usa, but not ok to send the same copy to china?

  • by sabri (584428) * on Sunday August 05, 2012 @04:57PM (#40888799)
    So, they are being tested by the security watchdog in the U.K. Big deal, they load up a specially prepped software image (like they do for all their customers) and pass the test. Next step is to have all operators buy their heavily discounted gear for almost nothing, implement it and have them install a critical software update to avoid exploits. Have that image backdoored and they are one step closer to total world domination.
  • backdoors (Score:2, Insightful)

    by harvey the nerd (582806) on Sunday August 05, 2012 @05:08PM (#40888865)
    When we buy stuff from China without a corresponding increase in our own exports, they've already backdoored our economy.
  • underhanded code (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 05, 2012 @05:14PM (#40888907)

    As anyone familiar with the underhanded code contest [xcott.com] knows, it's possible to create code that looks fine, easily passes reviews from people even who are on the lookout for back doors, yet still contains back doors.

    It's essentially impossible to prove that your equipment is NOT backdoored, unless you designed and built it in-house and believe that your own engineering staff is trustworthy (its own problem, when there is a history of governments buying off employees within companies that have access to critical data and processes).

  • by Luckyo (1726890) on Sunday August 05, 2012 @05:22PM (#40888967)

    Even if they did 1:1 copy software side, hardware can have its own backdoors, hidden in the chips, completely invisible from software side.

    And if you think that cisco doesn't have backdoors, I have land on the moon to sell you.

  • Re:The reason (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Sunday August 05, 2012 @05:29PM (#40889011)

    If you don't want to be spied on, encrypt it.

    Even if you encrypt your communications, they can still see who you are talking to. Sometimes knowing who you are talking to can be almost as valuable as knowing what you are saying.

  • by circletimessquare (444983) <circletimessquare&gmail,com> on Sunday August 05, 2012 @05:44PM (#40889129) Homepage Journal

    We do not distrust you, we do not dislike you.

    We distrust and dislike your authoritarian government. We do not want your government to have more power in the world. Not because we are afraid of or oppose the empowerment of China on the world stage, or have anything against Chinese culture or Chinese people. But because we oppose authoritarian government, of any kind, from any part of the world.

    We DO have a built in prejudice against your government (not against you), because your government clearly attempts to control and manipulate communication channels. Yes, they also manipulate communication channels in the West, but not for state control of political dialogue.

    We in the West believe the ability to express our political opinions freely is very important to the health of our society, that is how and why we call our society free (despite the fact some of our media companies are trying to hurt our freedoms on our communication structure in the effort to prop a media business model that only works in a world without the Internet: don't worry, they will clearly fail, their efforts are the death throes of a dying way of business).

    You will see some responses to this comment of mine attempting to falsely equate Chinese authoritarian control of political opinion with various vile things the West does. Don't get me wrong: the West does plenty of evil things and there is plenty I criticize about my government. The difference is: they can express this political opinion of theirs freely, here in the West, and ironically, as they indulge false equivalency, they do not admit or do not know they would experience fear and intimidation if they tried to equally criticize Beijing, from within China.

    I myself disagree with those who falsely believe that the West is just as bad as China in regards to suppression of freedoms, but I fully support their right to spout their nonsense, unhindered by fear of government backlash. Here in the West, we believe that the natural competition of ideas that only comes from every single one of them being freely expressed, NATURALLY leads to the flawed opinions sinking and the good opinions rising. Only in this natural competition of ideas do good ones endure the test of criticism and one fail it. If the state attempts to impose its own idea son the people, the state itself might wind up imposing ideas that are flawed, because they are unexamined. The people know better than the state, in this way. In other words, state control of politicla thought is a form of weakness that will eventually harm China.

    So Chinese people: since you cannot likewise criticize your own government freely within China, do you not have a problem with this fact? If you are proud to be Chinese, as you should be, do you not believe you should be free to speak your mind like I can in your effort to make China strong as a Chinese patriot?

    Chinese people: please understand that we in the West respect the Chinese people and wish you prosperity and freedom. And so we await the day you respect yourselves as well to not be treated like slaves by your own government, and to throw off the yolk of the efforts at mind control which exists in Beijing, pointed against the Chinese people and the free expression of your own thoughts, an effort whose only purpose is to serve the continuation of a power structure that is not necessarily good for China, only good for a few rich and connected Chinese at the detriment of all other Chinese.

    Sure, this authoritarian power structure has done great things for you economically. But growth doesn't last forever, and when your economy fully matures, I am confident you finally turn your attention to freeing yourselves from the authoritarian government who wants to control your mind and your thoughts.

  • Dear USA people: (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 05, 2012 @05:53PM (#40889175)

    We do not distrust you, we do not dislike you.

    We distrust and dislike your authoritarian government. We do not want your government to have more power in the world. Not because we are afraid of or oppose the empowerment of USA on the world stage, or have anything against USA culture or USA people. But because we oppose authoritarian government, of any kind, from any part of the world.

    We DO have a built in prejudice against your government (not against you), because your government clearly attempts to control and manipulate communication channels. Yes, they also manipulate communication channels in Europe, but not for state control of political dialogue.

  • Re:racism much? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by alexandre_ganso (1227152) <surak@surak.eti.br> on Sunday August 05, 2012 @06:19PM (#40889339)

    Why was this modded negative? It is a reasonable question. So is it fine for the NSA to spy everything, but not china? Double value.

  • Re:backdoors (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 05, 2012 @09:38PM (#40890551)

    Short sighted poster forgets 10 years ago when Germany was the "sick old man of Europe" and the government took incredibly unpopular measures to jump start the economy. Please don't speak like building an entirely export based economy is a silver bullet method to success. How is Germany doing today? They joined a common currency with a bunch of knuckleheads and got rich off lowered trade barriers for their goods. Now all the money has dried up and their economy limps on because the domestic markets aren't nearly enough to support their production. Immigration can barely keep up with low birth rates and emigration, the unions have gained job security by agreeing to wage increases that don't keep pace with inflation and the government is making up budget differences by selling weapons to anyone who will buy.

    Germany is a wonderful place, my wife is German, but it ain't all roses. People seem to have very short term memories about their economic power.

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