No network operator allows us access to intercept equipment, says Huawei

In a response to US’ accusations of stealing trade secrets and helping Iran track protesters, Huawei vice president and cyber security chief John Suffolk said that to his knowledge, no mobile operator has ever given the Chinese company any access to equipment it uses to intercept calls when required to do so by security services.

“We have no access to this equipment, we don’t know what call or information is being intercepted, we don’t know when it is intercepted – all we do is provide one side of the box which is blind to what’s happening on the other side of the box,” Suffolk told reporters on Friday.

“Our equipment has to be connected, often the gateway is in a special room because of the sensitivity. I’m not aware of any operator who has said to Huawei: ‘Come and sit in this room and see what’s going on’,” he added.

“If I found out that our staff were involved with such things, then we would take appropriate action on that,” Suffolk concluded.

United States officials told Wall Street Journal earlier this week that Huawei might use its equipment to covertly access telecoms networks.

US prosecutors’ accusations against is the latest in the escalating battle between the US and the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker.

In the latest indictment, which supersedes one unsealed last year in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, Huawei Technologies Co was charged with conspiring to steal trade secrets from six US technology companies and to violate a racketeering law typically used to combat organised crime, reports Reuters.

It also contains new allegations about the company’s involvement in countries subject to sanctions. Among other accusations, the indictment says Huawei installed surveillance equipment in Iran that was used to monitor, identify, and detain protesters during the 2009 anti-government demonstrations in Tehran.

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