NZ Govt spy agencies cleared Huawei
Tue, 09 Oct 2012 6:05p.m.
By Patrick Gower
The Government has admitted its security agencies gave clearance to a deal with Chinese company Huawei to install New Zealand’s ultra-fast broadband network.
The admission has caused dissent within the Government's own ranks, because Huawei has been accused in the United States of being both a threat to national security and to individual privacy.
Because of this, the United States wants to shut Huawei out, congressman Mike Rogers says.
“Do we trust the Chinese? If I were an American company today – and I tell you this as the chairman of the House permanent select committee on intelligence – and you were looking at Huawei, I would find another vendor if you care about your intellectually property, if you care about your consumers' privacy, and you care about the national security of the United States of America.”
The Congress report says Huawei would assist espionage or cyber warfare by the Chinese government and must be stopped.
It follows Australia, which in March blocked Huawei from involvement in its broadband roll-out because it was a security threat.
Yet New Zealand has signed up Huawei as part of the $1.5-billion broadband roll-out, with Prime Minister John Key saying "it should be fine". But that is because the Huawei deal was vetted by New Zealand security agencies, most likely spy agency the GCSB.
“Our security agencies have… worked through the exercise before and after the contract was let,” Minister of Economic Development Steven Joyce says.
The GCSB will now monitor Huawei, which is a cause of concern within the Government's ranks. United Future MP Peter Dunne is one of those worried about the GCSB’s capability.
“There are a number of things that need to change to restore a level of confidence in its ability to do its job. And it's just when the Huawei issue comes along that highlights the need to have a credible functional intelligence service that people can have confidence in.”
Huawei has won broadband contracts across New Zealand. Details are commercially sensitive, but could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
The Green Party is worried that money could be going towards something else.
“We don't want to be in a situation where the taxpayer is paying hundreds of millions of dollars to make it easier for Beijing to spy on us,” Green MP Gareth Hughes says.
So even if it could, the Government does not appear willing to get out of the Huawei deal, and its message seems to be “trust us – our spies know what they are doing”.
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13/10/2012 7:11:24 p.m.
Once you have telecommunications access you can access business information to copy and compete with - that undermines the economic development of NZ. Once again NZ Govt shows how incapable it is of foresight and consequence common sense.
11/10/2012 12:10:45 a.m.
Giving one a go wrote:
Huawei prices and software compatibility are likely an issue. Huawei mobile devices are cheap and attractive options to budget conscious buyers. Their phones have been retailing at between about $40 to $50 in New Zealand. The software works fine, but does have some peculiarities that might make it difficult for US based agencies to monitor on account of US organisations having designed monitoring equipment for other device platforms.
10/10/2012 3:23:37 p.m.
the government should look @ this contract with Huawei. Canada haeis had many cyberattacks from china are now lookin @ huawei involement with the gov network. it will be to late if the givernment continues with the contract
10/10/2012 11:30:54 a.m.
Paul, you clearly haven't read the report from the US which clearly states the opposite to what you're saying on Huawei. It seems your report is more politically biased than the American one.
10/10/2012 10:40:27 a.m.
yeah, because those security taps in teh exchanges that the FBI helped install (and if you think there's no back door in those without having the technical skill to check and having seen them you're not only dreaming, you're an Idiot) Aren't a major security risk on a national level, and our own government's actions aren't a risk on the personal level. feh.
10/10/2012 7:52:22 a.m.
Richard Lissington wrote:
Huawei pirated Cisco's IOS back in 2003 and had to remove it by court order. Huawei's routers also looked just like Cisco's 2600 series devices.
Telecom (Gen-i) and Downer Engineering also tried the gear internally but luckily got rid of them due to the high failure rate.
10/10/2012 6:44:33 a.m.
@Patrick Gower, You would think our Government would look at other dealing in NZ with this Company before excepting the tender, Maybe you should let telecom and Vodafone no, Both advertise on your channel and are linked to HUAWEI, But your right and on these grounds every should cancel there telecom, Vodafone and 2 degree accounts. Thanks for the warning Patrick.
9/10/2012 10:51:27 p.m.
"Our spies know what they are doing". So you tell us that they didn't know Kim Dotcom was a NZ resident, and then you tell us that they know Huawei isn't a security threat? Now why do I think we're being fed a whole lot of BS? I surely hope that people aren't downright stupid enough to vote this duplicitous government back in.
9/10/2012 10:26:13 p.m.
The chinese have not invaded anyone for over 5,000 years. America this year have forces in how many countries ?
Frankly I'd rather the chinese take us
9/10/2012 9:23:09 p.m.
I dont trust the Chinease govt because unlike ours that plans 3 years at a time they plan dozens if not hundreds of years into the future and it would be so easy for them to put spy ware into the system just in case.
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