China has demanded a clear explanation from the US after reports that the National Security Agency (NSA) infiltrated the networks of Chinese telecoms firm, Huawei.
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The NSA allegedly created “back doors” into the Huawei’s networks, according to reports based on documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
According to the leaked documents, the NSA infiltrated servers in Huawei’s headquarters to monitor communications of top executives at Huawei; and get information about the routers and digital switches that Huawei claims connect a third of the world’s population.
The NSA operation was aimed at finding links between Huawei and the People’s Liberation Army; and exploiting Huawei’s technology to conduct surveillance on customers, particularly in Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kenya and Cuba.
Huawei said it would condemn the invasion of its networks if the reports in the New York Times and Der Spiegel were true.
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The NSA has made no mention of the reports, but said it focused only on what it called “valid foreign intelligence targets” and denied stealing information to help US businesses, reports the BBC.
Chinese authorities have lodged a complaint with the US and demanded that Washington provide an explanation for the alleged espionage.
In 2011, a US House Intelligence Committee launched an investigation into the threat posed by Chinese-owned telecommunications companies in the US, and the government’s response to that threat.
Huawei has struggled to make gains in the US market because of continual questions of links with the Chinese government.