Huawei hits the headlines again

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From the Wall Street Journal: Huawei technicians help African governments spy on opponents

Technicians from the Chinese powerhouse have, in at least two cases, personally helped African governments spy on their political opponents, including intercepting their encrypted communications and social media, and using cell data to track their whereabouts, according to senior security officials working directly with the Huawei employees in these countries.

Comments (54)

54 responses to “Huawei hits the headlines again”

  1. F4IL

    more like: the headlines hit Huawei again

  2. wp7mango

    I see that some people like you are still looking for the smoking gun...


    • Paul Thurrott

      In reply to WP7Mango:

      Yep. Like any big corporation, Huawei has done all kinds of things, many terrible, in the name of capitalism. What no one ever seems to find is evidence that it colluded with the Chinese government to help it spy on the United States.


      Bias confirmation is unreal.

  3. Thom77

    Google: hold my beer

  4. terry jones

    I know these are wasted words here at Whatabout Central, but in regard to spying, you might want to take motive into consideration.

    The focus of the Chinese government is to keep its citizens repressed, and to strip away any rights and freedoms they might have left.

    The government of the USA, while it has plenty of faults & bad actors, is concerned with maintaining freedom and democracy.

    This seems to get lost here among the rampant Anti-Americanism you see in these forums.


    • skane2600

      In reply to terry jones:

      Nearly every US military action since WWII hasn't been motivated by "maintaining freedom and democracy". When "bad actors" are at the highest levels of government they can't be dismissed as irrelevant.


      And please give us a few examples of the anti-American comments you say are rampant here.

      • terry jones

        In reply to skane2600:
        No, I won't give you any examples, since I would have to call people out, and I don't want to wade into that swamp.

        But as Justice Potter said when asked to define pornography: "I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it."


        • skane2600

          In reply to terry jones:

          So you have no problem with potentially accusing anyone here of anti-american comments because you don't want to call out the specific people you supposedly have evidence against? That sounds BS to me.

          • terry jones

            In reply to skane2600:
            I've had comments deleted here before. I can't imagine the discussion you want would get very far before it got stepped on.


            • skane2600

              In reply to terry jones:

              So your theory is that posting a comment that quotes other people's past comments which weren't deleted would itself be deleted? Doesn't really make sense, does it. Be honest, you're not producing the anti-American quotes because they're haven't been any.

              • terry jones

                In reply to skane2600:
                I just checked this thread. At least one of my comments has been deleted.
                There was nothing in that comment that would warrant it being tossed, other than to prove to me that Paul has no sense of humor, and a thin skin.
                Countdown to when this one gets deleted......5...4...3..2..................


    • waethorn

      In reply to terry jones:

      "The government of the USA, while it has plenty of faults & bad actors, is concerned with maintaining freedom and democracy."


      Depends on who you ask from the government, and whether they're lying or not. Okay, trick scenario - all politicians lie.

  5. waethorn

    Why are most of the comments here "....but, but, but....the US gov't does just as much spying"?


    Everyone should be appalled that YET ANOTHER company is doing this under the demand of a government, and should call it out, rather than make up excuses or side-step the issue.

    • skane2600

      In reply to Waethorn:

      We know for a fact that the US government has spied on US citizens, we don't know that about Huawei.

      • Bats

        In reply to skane2600:

        What? Were you born yesterday? You clearly have no idea what you are talking about. Anything from China is suspect. Never trust your news from the usual tech websites. They know $#!#.

        • skane2600

          In reply to Bats:

          Please enlighten us with any actual facts you may have that we aren't aware of. Simply saying "Anything from China is suspect" is not a fact it's just your personal opinion. And if you want to be taken seriously, drop the insults.

        • wright_is

          In reply to Bats:

          I take it you don't have a PC, Mac, Android smartphone or tablet, iPhone, iPad etc. They (mostly) come from China...

          • lvthunder

            In reply to wright_is:

            There is a difference between assembled in China and designed in China.

            • wright_is

              In reply to lvthunder:

              Yes, designed in China means it can be assembled elsewhere and not interfered with, built in China means that the assembly line can apply their own "personal" tweaks. Just like made in America - Cisco and HP kit being intercepted and NSA tweaks added before delivery to allied countries.

  6. Bats

    There are two Chinese tech companies, you cannot trust. One is (of course) Huawei. The other is Lenovo. I am not super familiar with the technical aspects of the alleged malware contained in Huawei phones, but believe me......I know there is for Lenovo and it's in the bios. You people only know, not even a quarter of the story when it comes to Lenovo. I am not trying to tell you NOT to buy Lenovo products, that's up to you. But know this......if you do, you will have malware on your computer that no malware software can detect.

  7. madthinus

    One has to grateful to capitalism. Now you can just write a cheque to a company for this kind of thing, 30 years ago you had to hope the USA will have some interst in your country or benefit from your country by propping up your regime with guns or intelligence in exchange for resources or in the persuit of stopping Russian influence in Africa.

  8. skane2600

    This is scandalous because no US tech company has ever helped the US government to spy on anyone. /s

  9. pargon

    Paul has said that trump is just making stuff up, the Chinese government is wonderful and to not trust Huawei is racist, xenophobic, etc.


    This is an inconvenient article. Wonder if Paul will comment on it lol

  10. PeterC

    Ah yes, political spying by cell phone. You do understand that this is exactly what your erstwhile Govt does daily to whoever it Chooses due to its “backdoor” relationships with ALL US TECH COMPANIES, including political leaders of allied countries? Get a grip, please.


    This incessant US led anti Huawei/China tech propaganda is getting deeply tedious, and really boring. If I was a free thinking intelligent US citizen I’d be asking myself ... “ why my govt wants to whip up such a fear based public frenzy”..... please do ask yourself this question.



  11. wright_is

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/08/15/huawei_uganda_report/

    You can just feel the sarcasm over the WSJ dripping from the page.

    How is this different to what AT&T and Verizon, among others do in the USA? Or the US police, FBI, NSA etc.

    It looks like the Ugandan authorities (why aren't they the focus of the story?) bought spying software from the Israelis (probably Cellebrite, why aren't they the focus of the story?), but couldn't get it to work (why isn't their incompetence the focus of the story?), so they called in technicians from the manufacturer of the phone that the person under investigation was using and they helped to get the Israeli software configured, so that the Ugandans could monitor the subject's WhatsApp messages.

    The USA got into very hot political water a few years back, when they were caught listening in on Angela Merkel's phone calls. The USA has a long and rich history of wire tapping, heck, Gene Hackman stared in Under Surveillance in 1974 - not to mention Enemy of the State in 1998, which is pretty much exactly the same story, but set in America, not Uganda.

    • Ron Diaz

      In reply to wright_is:

      The movie was The Conversation

    • Paul Thurrott

      In reply to wright_is:

      You can't speak logic to the religious.

      • lvthunder

        In reply to paul-thurrott:

        That's a two way street. Just like political ideology I think everyone has made up their mind on this subject and very little can be said ether way to make people change their mind.

        • wright_is

          In reply to lvthunder:

          I'm still open minded, but I need proof positive, one way or the other. Hear-say won't cut it.

        • Paul Thurrott

          In reply to lvthunder:

          It's not fair to say that everyone has made up their mind. What my mind is made up to is being open to the truth and to what is really happening.

          • lvthunder

            In reply to paul-thurrott:

            All I see here are two sides. The pro Huawei side and the anti Huawei side. This article and every one before it the two sides just spin it to their point of view. No ones mind is changing from one side to the other. That's why I say everyone's mind is made up. Let me ask you this Paul. Did this article change your thoughts on Huawei as a company at all? Assuming the article is factual which is becoming less common these days it seems.


            Just imagine the backlash if Verizon was caught helping the Trump campaign spy on the DNC.

            • Paul Thurrott

              In reply to lvthunder:

              No, as I've said, Huawei is a huge company that does terrible things, like all huge companies. If you try to hold any company to some arbitrary moral line, you'll always be disappointed.


              Microsoft, for example, is one of the most terrible companies in the history of capitalism. Its current regime doesn't change the past. Are you going to boycott them or just ignore its history? No.

            • wright_is

              In reply to lvthunder:

              And Hoover never abused his position to spy on politicians?

              What about Room 641A at 611 Folsom Street in San Francisco? Hint, it is AT&T's warrantless listening post for the NSA.

            • skane2600

              In reply to lvthunder:

              The two sides are 1: people who want to see claims backed-up by facts and 2: those who think speculation or government pronouncements are sufficient.


              The issue was never whether Huawei was a completely honest company, it was about whether the US ban was justified.


              I think your Verizon analogy oversimplifies what happened in Uganda but in any case the Russians were caught helping the Trump campaign by spying on the DNC and the consequences have been minimal.

              • lvthunder

                In reply to skane2600:

                The facts that backup the claims by the US government are probably classified and we'll be lucky to see them in our lifetime. They still have some details about MLK classified and that's been what close to 50 years, but this article doesn't deal with the US at all and it's all pro or anti Huawei.


                You are wrong about the Russians. They were trying to spy on both sides. They were just able to break into the DNC. They just wanted to pit both sides against each other and create chaos. That's their goal.

                • skane2600

                  In reply to lvthunder:

                  As I've said numerous times before, real evidence of backdoors could be revealed without any security concerns because the technology to find them has been available for many decades.


                  Creating chaos was only one aspect of the Russian campaign, they also wanted Trump to be elected. How many Russian surrogates contacted the Clinton campaign as they did Trump's?


                • wright_is

                  In reply to lvthunder:

                  Sorry, I call BS. Classified? The UK and Europe both have centers where their spooks can view the source code of Huawei kit, compile it, compare it to "real" devices and test the kist.

                  After at least half a decade they have failed to find anything, other than the usual poorly coded software that is typical for the industry. (Just how many backdoors has Cisco removed from their software over the last 2 years?)

                • Paul Thurrott

                  In reply to wright_is:

                  Again. You're using facts to battle the fact-averse. Welcome to my country.