Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Australian Legislator: 'Huawei Is A Security Risk'

An AAP newswire article, via ZDNet Australia, reports that:

The Federal Opposition is demanding the Government explain whether a company involved with the new frontrunner's bid for Australia's National Broadband Network has links with the Chinese military.

Security agencies will closely examine the bid placed by Singtel Optus, which is believed to have asked Chinese firm Huawei Technologies to help build its network, The Australian newspaper has reported.

Huawei has operated in Australia for several years and supplies technology to Optus and a number of other Australian firms relating to their network roll-outs, in addition to some consumer hardware like 3G mobile cards.

Huawei was the subject of a US congressional investigation on national security, after concerns were raised about the company's links to the Chinese military and intelligence apparatus, the report said.

"These are potentially very concerning revelations," opposition communications spokesman Nick Minchin told AAP. The Federal Government had kicked out Telstra — the only Australian publicly-listed company bidding for the NBN — leaving just three national bidders.

The respected global think tank Rand Corporation, which specialises in national security research, says Huawei maintains deep ties with the Chinese military, Senator Minchin said. Cyber espionage was a problem that Australia had to constantly guard against and the new broadband network needed to be "secure or seen to be secure".

More here.


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