Huawei and ZTE telecoms equipment gives Chinese government access to your communications, a former Pentagon analyst claims

Michael Maloof, a former senior security policy analyst in the US Office of the Secretary of Defence, has claimed that the Chinese government has been able to obtain “pervasive access” to 80% of the world’s telecommunications networks, as a result of “backdoor access” obtained through Huawei and ZTE devices.

According to ZDNet, Maloof claims:

“In 2000, Huawei was virtually unknown outside China, but by 2009 it had grown to be one of the largest, second only to Ericsson.”

“As a consequence, sources say that any information traversing ‘any’ Huawei equipped network isn’t safe unless it has military encryption. One source warned, ‘even then, there is no doubt that the Chinese are working very hard to decipher anything encrypted that they intercept’.”

“The Chinese government and the People’s Liberation Army are into cyberwarfare now. They have looked at not just Huawei [and] ZTE Corporation as providing, through the equipment that they install in about 145 countries around the world, and in 45 of the top 50 telecom centres around the world, the potential for backdooring into data.”

“Proprietary information could be not only spied upon, but also could be altered. And in some cases, could be sabotaged. That’s coming from technical experts who know Huawei, they know the company and they know the Chinese [government].”

“Sources tell me that it’s given [the] Chinese [government] access to approximately 80% of the world telecoms and it’s working on the other 20% now.”

While Huawei equipment is used both by Telstra and Vodafone, the Gillard government has prevented the company from tendering for the NBN on national security grounds.

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