US intelligence agencies warn against purchasing Huawei smartphones
Directors from six US intelligence agencies, including the CIA, FBI, and NSA, have told the Senate Intelligence Committee that they wouldn't recommend Americans use Huawei services or products, according to CNBC.
FBI Director Chris Wray explained to the Committee:
We're deeply concerned about the risks of allowing any company or entity that is beholden to foreign governments that don't share our values to gain positions of power inside our telecommunications networks. That provides the capacity to exert pressure or control over our telecommunications infrastructure. It provides the capacity to maliciously modify or steal information. And it provides the capacity to conduct undetected espionage.
This saga actually began in 2012, when the Chinese tech company was the subject of a national security investigation by US government officials who worried that its products may pose a cybersecurity risk. Huawei publicly dismissed the concerns, though the final investigative report alleged the Chinese company wasn't fully cooperative with investigators. Australian government officials had expressed similar concerns at the time.
Huawei has consistently denied claims that its products and services may be compromised by the Chinese government. These concerns, however, have persisted to varying degrees over the years, and recently came to a head when AT&T abandoned plans to offer the Huawei Mate 10 phone in its stores.
|The Huawei Mate 10 Pro went up for pre-order in the United States earlier this month.|
Sources speaking to Reuters last month claimed that US lawmakers pressured AT&T into cutting commercial ties with Huawei over national security concerns, and that included asking AT&T to stop offering Huawei phones through its Cricket subsidiary. Bloomberg reported similar issues related to Verizon's abandoned plans to sell the Huawei Mate 10.
This intelligence report to the Senate Intelligence Committee is the latest, and possibly the worst, blow for Huawei, which has struggled to enter the US market. The Mate 10 Pro and its impressive camera only just went up for pre-order in the US, and already consumers are being warned against purchasing.
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