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Security threat? ZTE, Huawei lash out against US report

October 09, 2012 14:32 IST
Chinese telecom equipment manufacturers Huawei and ZTE on Tuesday hit back at a US House panel report that labeled both the companies as threat to US national security.

In a press note, ZTE spokesperson said that the committee's investigation be extended to include every company making equipment in China, including the Western vendors.

n a press note David Dai Shu, ZTE's director of global public affairs said: "Particularly given the severity of the Committee's recommendations,  ZTE recommends that the Committee's investigation be extended to include every company making equipment  in China, including the Western vendors. That is the only way to truly protect US equipment and US national security. National security experts agree that a Trusted Delivery Model will strengthen national security. In fact, major US carriers are increasingly requiring Trusted Delivery Model in their contracts."

On Monday, a US House Intelligence Committee said in a report that China's Huawei and ZTE pose a threat to US national security based on concerns over cyber-attacks allegedly traced to China.

Virtually all of the telecom infrastructure equipment now sold in the US and throughout the world contains components made, in whole or in part, in China. That includes the equipment manufactured and sold by every Western vendor in the United States, much of which is made by Chinese joint venture partners and suppliers.

In its Fourth Recommendation, the Committee encourages companies to offer "more consistent review by independent third-party evaluators of their cyber security processes." 

The Committee has credited ZTE with advocating a solution, based on a Trusted Delivery Model, in which the telecom vendor transfers hardware, software, firmware, and other structural equipment elements to an independent third-party threat assessment laboratory with US government agency oversight, said the company statement.

"ZTE recognizes and fully respects the Committee's obligation to protect US national security," said Dai Shu. "ZTE believes the Committee focused its examination too narrowly on vendor locations not on equipment security. The Committee omitted the Western vendors and their Chinese manufacturing partners, which provide most of the US equipment now in use. The Committee also overlooked the opportunity to advance universal application of the Trusted Delivery Model which protects critical telecom networks on a vendor-neutral basis."

Meanwhile, Huawei called the report an 'exercise in China bashing'.

"Unfortunately, the Committee's report not only ignored our proven track record of network security in the United States and globally, but also paid no attention to the large amount of facts that we have provided. Even before the investigation began, the Chairman of the committee advocated to media that "I stand by my caution to the American business community about engaging Huawei technology until we can fully determine their motives," said a statement on the company's website.

The company further said that the report released by the Committee today employs many rumors and speculations to prove nonexistent accusations. This report does not address the challenges faced by the ICT industry.

The report conducted by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, took 11 months to complete.

Shivani Shinde in Mumbai
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