It’s no hidden secret that Huawei, one of the world’s largest information and telecommunications providers has been supplying Iran and Iraq although there are known embargoes against these two countries, their large success internationally has been through financial aid from the Chinese government and towards the end of 2012 complaints from ex-employees (and current, supposedly) that along with ZTE they are spying on communications and threatening system security. I wonder if that dongle in your pocket could be just as suspect?
When Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and the Republic of South Africa had world sanctions imposed against them they still had many international companies trading with them and yes, if I was to invest in any company as a world leader it would be in my own telecommunications structure. Sour Grapes? It would be fair to acknowledge that Huawei do make exceptional products but when your company has been put under the spotlight for risky behaviour, as is Huawei, the onus is on us as users to prove that there has been nefarious behaviour, which should prove some sort of intent. I don’t believe that there was any concrete evidence. However, looking at the behaviour of any superpower, which China now is and the USA still is, there will always be some form of spying going on – after all you don’t become a superpower without knowing what the opposition is doing.
I wonder if Cisco ever had such allegations made against them? Looking back in history San Francisco company Cisco almost appears squeaky clean – indeed without a few internal issues Cisco is squeaky clean. Can Cisco monitor your network usage and block unwanted content, almost certainly. Their cloud services update debacle proves this point. Boingboing.net think so as well. I don’t think there was a hidden agenda, just like parental control on your PVR or TV decoder/remote – as far as I am aware they were completely transparent. Just like Huawei. Or ZTE. It’s almost naive thinking to believe that any company making communications equipment which would include routers for which Cisco is famous would be manufacturing these devices without safeguards, especially from a security point of view.
99% of telecom equipment use duplex or multiplex, so it’s inherent in their design to be able to monitor and harbour information. Cisco has cut off ties with ZTE due to their alleged practice of selling Cisco gear to Iran. The Americans are very sticky when it comes to protocol and dealing with the enemy. If I was in their shoes, so would I. The question we should be asking ourselves is whether ZTE and Huawei have been transparent? Just like your service provider may not mention that all your correspondence is monitored or your visited information is logged is not told to you in bold print it should be assumed that it is going to be. Many years ago we were told by government what we could or could not do, nowadays a machine will decide for you. If you were to design a database for a company would you rather put in more information into the design or less, more sophistication to allow for future improvement or leave it out?