As the Trump administration gets more aggressive against Huawei, American national security officials tell The Wall Street Journal that the Chinese behemoth is allegedly spying through telecom networks without their knowledge.
Officials say it's a matter of manufactured meddling with serious repercussions for national stability.
What officials say — In comments to The Wall Street Journal, national security analyst Robert O'Brien claimed, "We have evidence that Huawei has the capability secretly to access sensitive and personal information in systems it maintains and sells around the world."
How it (allegedly) works — Normally, the manufacturers for carriers' stations and antennae are legally required to create so-called backdoors in their hardware for law enforcement authorities. The same manufacturers are also legally expected to create hardware that is impenetrable even to themselves — unless the network operator gives them the green signal to access it.
With the permission of network carriers, law enforcement authorities can access these networks. According to American security officials, Huawei allegedly preserved its ability to gain entry into these networks without their explicit knowledge and approval.
Take it with a grain of salt — According to The Wall Street Journal, security analysts close to the matter have yet to provide concrete evidence of such backdoor access. For their own part, though, these officials claim that they had knowledge of the covert access since 2009. But other companies like Vodafone told the outlet that they had no indication of whether there was any unauthorized access by Huawei.
The Chinese company has forcefully rejected the validity of any these claims, calling them "groundless." In response to The Wall Street Journal, Huawei stated it "has never and will never do anything that would compromise or endanger the security of networks and data of its clients."