[LINK] What's Behind the Huawei Fracas
rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au
Fri Mar 30 19:50:32 EST 2012
Thanks for a lucid explanation. I had not considered, in particular, the
possibilities of a hands-on abstraction of equipment storing compromised
On 30/03/12 7:15 PM, Glen Turner wrote:
> On Wed, 2012-03-28 at 17:56 +1100, Richard Chirgwin wrote:
>> Where I become sceptical, Roger, is not "can a device collect data?" but
>> "can it phone home without detection?"
> Equipment manufacturers of transmission systems have a huge amount of
> access to deployed kit. The level of manufacturer support for these
> systems is pretty full-on and it's not uncommon (once or twice a year)
> for the manufacturer to tell you of a particularly obscure fault in your
> equipment and to have already shipped you a replacement card.
> Transmission systems take a long time to plan, and that planning is very
> tied to the details of the equipment used, so there is a large amount of
> involvement from the equipment manufacturer from the very start.
> Transmission systems are not like an IP router or ethernet switch where
> you can swap out one manufacturer for another with relative ease.
> So a purchaser is very much placing themselves into the hands of their
> supplier. As Nortel customers learnt.
> The blunt question is: in a confrontation between China and Australia,
> would Huawei respond to its customers or its government. The answer is
> unquestionably that they would respond to the Chinese government.
> In this determination Huawei have done themselves no favours -- it took
> the best part of a decade to learn who their owners were, and there's
> still no great certainty about where the control of the company lies.
> It's inescapable that the company is the child of the Chinese military /
> intelligence complex (although you could say the same of many US
> computing firms).
> Huawei have also spied on US companies in the past, and victims like
> Cisco Systems aren't about to let the US government forget that. And
> sure, there's some commercial self interest there. But there's also a
> fair whack of anger and a fair whack of concern that such spying hasn't
> stopped but has simply become more sophisticated.
> If your view of the future may include a confrontation between Australia
> and China then having Huawei control a major infrastructure isn't wise.
> This isn't the same as China owning a mine -- a stroke of a
> nationalising pen can fix that. This isn't the same as
> non-infrastructure electronics, such as 3G USB modems.
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