The US government has made definitive statements about Chinese telecommunications company Huawei — a 2012 report claimed that the company's networking equipment posed a national security risk, something that caused the company to largely retreat from operating in the US market. Somewhat ironically, however, the US government appears to be doing something very similar to what it accused Huawei of. The New York Times is reporting that the NSA has created its own "back doors" directly into Huawei's telecommunications networks for the purpose of collecting information on the vast array of hardware that the company claims connects a third of the global population.
The NSA also monitored communications of the company's top executives and also searched for links between Huawei and the People's Liberation Army (of which Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei was a member). According to the documents obtained by The New York Times and Der Spiegel from Edward Snowden, the NSA even wanted to have access to networking equipment that Huawei was selling to other countries so that it could monitor and search through both computer and telephone networks as it saw fit.
"Many of our targets communicate over Huawei-produced products," the leaked NSA document reportedly says. "We want to make sure that we know how to exploit these products to gain access to networks of interest" — including networks of countries around the world. "The irony is that exactly what they are doing to us is what they have always charged that the Chinese are doing through us," a Huawei US senior executive told the Times. It's just the latest in an ongoing cybersecurity battle between the US and China at large — the Pentagon said last year that a large number of cyberattacks against US targets appeared to be originating from the Chinese government.