Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Huawei Question

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  • ScottY,

    I listened to Hughes on Radio NZ and had no idea what he actually wanted the govt to do.

    What exactly is the govt meant to do? In matters such as these we actually have no choice but to rely on their assurances that they have it covered. They're hardly going to engage in public discussions about an intelligence matter, are they?

    Yorke of The Atatu • Since Feb 2009 • 787 posts Report Reply

  • peter mclennan,

    Huawei's stake in UFB was reported by Computerworld NZ in Nov last year.... http://computerworld.co.nz/news.nsf/news/ultrafast-fibre-signs-huawei-as-technology-partner?Opendocument

    They've also done a deal with Chorus to help them deliver the rural broadband initiative
    http://computerworld.co.nz/news.nsf/news/huawei-wins-chorus-rural-fibre-contract?Opendocument

    AK Central • Since Nov 2006 • 151 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Perhaps our government needs to say something more robust than we’ve heard so far from the hapless Amy Adams, if only to corral the wilder conspiracy theories.:

    With all due respect, Russell, are you also expecting the Government to buy everyone a flying unicorn while they’re at it?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    With all due respect, Russell, are you also expecting the Government to buy everyone a unicorn while they’re at it?

    Nah. But Adams is really out of depth in her new portfolio. They need someone stronger to front this.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18508 posts Report Reply

  • Will de Cleene,

    Nokia Siemens helped the Iranian government clamp down on the Green Revolution with Deep Packet Inspections of the network. To take it to the paranoia limit, it really comes down on who you want to be snooped on by; CIA and the Patriot Act or China's Politburo. They're both welcome to read all the state secrets from the Taihape District Council.

    Raumati • Since Jul 2011 • 102 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Nah. But Adams is really out of depth in her new portfolio. They need someone stronger to front this.

    I'd accept your assessment, because you've followed the issues a lot closer (and much longer) than I have

    But I'm not sure who could be "strong" enough to mollify folks whose OS for anything to do with China (or "Asians" in general) is Yellow Peril 2.0. And there will always be people who know better who will pander along because it serves their own political/commercial interests.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • Juha Saarinen,

    This could be a simple matter of deciding who we allow potential control of and access to for critical infrastructure. China or the US? Either way, Russell Norman clearly knows something the rest of us don't.

    As for being employee-owned, I found out that it's not as simple as that.

    The Perth to Singapore cable is now coming under scrutiny too.

    Since Nov 2006 • 523 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I really don't know enough about this, but I'm concerned when any progressive political party expresses a position that seems too easily framed as xenophobic. We have Winston First for that.

    If it's actually about economic sovereignty or local industry development, then some attention to all the Australian, US and other interests operating here would be welcome. If this is only about national security, no sensible government of any stripe is going to be discussing it in the media.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16266 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Juha Saarinen,

    Either way, Russell Norman clearly knows something the rest of us don’t.

    I hope so, because I'm damn sure Sue Bradford isn't the only Green who'd like to know where Russel Norman's touching faith in ASIO came from.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • Allan Moyle,

    So, France a country that has clearly transgressed NZ interests in the past has not had its publicly owned telecommunications company (Alcatel-Lucent) products stopped from being used to power the backbone of NZ internet infrastructure over the last 10-15 years so why the hoo haa about Huawei?
    Transgressing on Echelon is a smoke screen and it serves the US/AU defense/intelligence community and its "marketers" (Mr Buchanan take a bow) to inflate that spectre. NZ is already not trusted with full Echelon access and if China really wanted access I'm sure with own satellites and technical capability they are most probably already snooping very well on their own.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 84 posts Report Reply

  • HORansome, in reply to Juha Saarinen,

    Either way, Russell Norman clearly knows something the rest of us don’t.

    I’m going to be a social epistemologist and say that sentence should read:

    “Either way, Russell Norman clearly feels he is justified in believing something the rest of us don’t.”

    Maybe it’s the sceptic in me, but the Intelligence and Security Committee aren’t exactly the most reliable of sources when it comes to justified true beliefs.

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 401 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington, in reply to peter mclennan,

    They've also done a deal with Chorus to help them deliver the rural broadband initiative

    Yep, Gen-i and Chorus have been proudly showing off Huawei kit at their business seminars this year. This will put them in a bit of a tricky position I would imagine.

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 881 posts Report Reply

  • Paul G. Buchanan,

    Russell: I suggest you do some more reading on Huawei's connections with Chinese intelligence. There have been several reports done by US, UK and Australia security agencies outlining their concerns. These are not done out of anti-Chinese prejudice. Government security and intelligence agencies do not deal in cultural prejudice (although some policy-makers might). They deal in facts, and as far as NZ's major security partners are concerned, the facts speak to Hauwai being a possible front for SIGINT intercepts of behalf of the Chinese state as it moves to assert its global presence. Remember: unlike NZ and its Echelon partners, the PRC has to be completely self-reliant when it comes to SIGINT and TECHINT and is playing catch-up in those two fields. It cannot be a great power without them.

    As for Echelon, I was at pains to tell the reporter that--should the suspicions about Huawei prove true, and that remains to be seen--Huawei's entry to the NZ IT market would be an indirect, rather than direct way of accessing Echelon-related intelligence (as well as commercial and diplomatic intelligence not related to Echelon). If they provide the platforms on which Crown agencies operate and/or on which individuals or private agencies of import conduct their personal and commercial business, then the field is opened for SIGINT collection via both front and back-door entry to these communications.

    I do agree that Ms. Adams was out of her depth, especially when she said that she did not know about the Australian security concerns.

    Singapore/NZ • Since Apr 2011 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to HORansome,

    Maybe it’s the sceptic in me, but the Intelligence and Security Committee aren’t exactly the most reliable of sources when it comes to justified true beliefs.

    Especially if their beliefs have come from an agency dedicated to US economic interests.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18508 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    We certainly need some clarity on this, rather than scare-mongering, Smacks of Yellow Cable Peril.

    Got a note to say that high-speed broadband will be passing by our house within days. Should I covertly spy on the installers?

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2265 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Paul G. Buchanan,

    If they provide the platforms on which Crown agencies operate

    I imagine GCSB pays more stringent attention to security considerations than commercial network vendors might need to. Unless they have been removed from that sort of role as part of cost-cutting over the last few years.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16266 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    from an agency dedicated to US economic interests

    The influence of US IP interests in trade agreements should be instructive. I'm sure Gareth Hughes for one can join the dots.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16266 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Geoff Lealand,

    Should I covertly spy on the installers?

    Tell us if they have stars on their bellies.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16266 posts Report Reply

  • Will de Cleene,

    NatRad has a crack at it with Huawei Guy and CFR guy:

    http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/ntn/ntn-20120328-0908-huawei_security_fears-048.mp3

    The Council for Foreign Relations has intimate relations with the CIA soft power department.

    The larger argument is looked at by Cory Doctorow with his Future of General Computing talk.

    Raumati • Since Jul 2011 • 102 posts Report Reply

  • Juha Saarinen,

    Since Nov 2006 • 523 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Paul G. Buchanan,

    There have been several reports done by US, UK and Australia security agencies outlining their concerns. These are not done out of anti-Chinese prejudice.

    I’m not going to try and school you on your area of academic expertise, but would it be permissible to express some entirely healthy skepticism? These are the same agencies, after all, whose case for going to war in Iraq turned out be less than entirely reliable.

    As RB (I think) Tweeted eariler, there are legitimate concerns and questions to be asked. But they need a robust response from the Government AND an Opposition carefully avoided flat our hysterics. (And while I know it raises hackles to point this out, New Zealand has a real history of anti-Asian racism and deep denial. So, yes, I think the "framing" needs a lot more care than I've seen so far.)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • Terry Baucher,

    <i>Nah. But Adams is really out of depth in her new portfolio. They need someone stronger to front this.</i>

    I thought Adams was hopeless on Morning Report today. At the very least she could have made some of the points Russell made in his opening few paragraphs

    Devonport • Since Nov 2008 • 85 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Graham,

    There's at least on example of a private company spying for a government: Xerox spied on the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2011 • 39 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Paul G. Buchanan,

    There have been several reports done by US, UK and Australia security agencies outlining their concerns. These are not done out of anti-Chinese prejudice.

    And yet the British government explicitly addressed those concerns and could find no impediment to Huawei becoming the primary vendor for Britain's national fibre network. It then granted permission for its former government CIO to become Huawei's global security chief. In the interim, Huawei opened a security test centre that's pretty much a glass box.

    And still no one seems to have demonstrated a link between Huawei products and the well-known security intrusions. I think it's a given that the NSA has gone over the source code in Huawei hardware with a fine-toothed comb, but there doesn't seem to be anything there.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18508 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Geoff Lealand,

    Got a note to say that high-speed broadband will be passing by our house within days.

    Lucky bugger. Still no word on when it gets to my suburb in Auckland.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18508 posts Report Reply

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