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Big Information Security Problems for the ROK? – Why American Senators Worry About Huawei in South Korea

A business deal between South Korea (LG Telecommunications) and Huawei Technologies, the Chinese telecommunications giant, is causing great concern for several important American senators, who are advising the White House to dissuade South Korea from allowing such a deal since it could (likely) undermine defense plans for the region:

Dianne Feinstein and Robert Menendez, respectively the chairs of the Senate’s intelligence and foreign affairs committees, said in a letter that “maintaining the integrity of telecommunications infrastructure” was critical to the alliance (ROK/US) . . . The warning about the Seoul network came in a private letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, and the director of national intelligence, James R. Clapper Jr.

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Congress rejected Huawei’s entrance into the American market due to security concerns but this marks a first time that American politicians have taken a direct interest in the security concerns involving a Chinese company elsewhere.

Huawei’s CEO is quoted as saying Huawei can go elsewhere for business, other than America:

Ren Zhengfei, the Huawei founder and chief executive, said if the company got caught in the middle of U.S.-China tensions, “it’s not worth it”.

America has effectively blocked Huawei’s expansion in the American market due to concerns of the company creating a “backdoor” into sensitive communications systems throughout the U.S. (cite)

About the author: Psst, want to buy some used marble cheap?

  • MURICA

    Don’t want China tapping those lines too.

  • RElgin

    After all the security problems that have occurred here, there is still little improvement in the awareness of security needs.

    I wonder just *who* at LG went for this Huawei deal in the first place? Is there no vetting of business deals in South Korea for security issues and why would any serious-minded South Korean be so trusting of a deal like this with a Chinese firm that is so close to the PRC Government – a frenemy if there ever was one?

  • Tomabas

    Huawei refuses NSA’s request to add backdoors to their devices like Cisco.

    :)

  • ryuNchoosk

    America is doing something right? Shame on LG, actually or as a matter of fact they suk. It’s sad really that they choose to follow the Samsuxs path to suxing.

  • RElgin

    I would be impressed and surprised if there were no tricks built into Huawei devices. There are so many ways to hide stuff in chipsets.

  • m0l0k0

    Korean politicians have no problem with foreign nations spying on them.

  • m0l0k0

    Probably because the Chinese backdoor would be discovered if they tried.

  • m0l0k0

    “Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Chinese companies like Huawei, operating overseas, respect all laws and regulations and contribute to economic development.” I lol’d

  • RElgin

    Yep.

  • piratariaazul

    Yes, who wants to expose their most private and competition-sensitive info to the Chinese? Only the NSA is entitled to get that stuff.

  • Tomabas

    http://www.smh.com.au/world/nsa-gathering-5-billion-mobile-phone-records-a-day-20131205-hv4fv.html

    “Washington: The US National Security Agency is
    gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on the whereabouts of mobile phones around the world, according to top-secret documents and interviews with US intelligence officials.”

    lol

  • Hitokiri 1989

    This is all fine. One cannot trust an organization with links to the CCP. But I guess one reason why the Americans are so worried about the Chicoms tapping into other people’s stuff is because they know their very own NSA does it.