back to article Huawei claims national security is used as plausible excuse for 'protectionism'

Huawei has told an Australian parliamentary committee it believes national security is sometimes being used to hide protectionist trade policies. The Chinese comms gear giant made the comments to the Joint Standing Committee on Trade and Investment Growth, which is conducting an inquiry into trade and the digital economy. US …

  1. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Kettle, black courtesy phone

    While they are undoubtedly correct - how many Chinese government contracts have gone to US firms?

    1. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Kettle, black courtesy phone

      "Huawei has told an Australian parliamentary committee it believes national security is sometimes being used to hide protectionist trade policies."

      As you imply, Huawei's statement clearly applies to China's own policies more than any other country in the world.

  3. J.Smith

    Nothing wrong with protectionism, got to look after domestic concerns first. Not that free trade has ever existed in practice.

  4. ST Silver badge
    WTF?

    National Security is by definition protectionism

    So I don't really understand where's the real complaint here.

    The US of A doesn't want Chinese spyware running on our cell towers. Gee, how odd!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: National Security is by definition protectionism

      Odd, given both GCHQ and NSA have both extensively looked at the kit and neither found any evidence of spyware.

      Yet day in, day out, US hardware and software are found to have holes (some deliberate) so big you can drive a bus through them

      1. ST Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: National Security is by definition protectionism

        > [ ... ] GCHQ and NSA [ ... ]

        [ Ignoring 100% predictable GCHQ/NSA Pavlov's Dog reaction ]

        And you happen to know exactly what NSA and GCHQ have found or not found because they told you this past Friday over drinks at the bar, right?

        1. Disgusted of Cheltenham

          Re: National Security is by definition protectionism

          No, NSA don't do drinks at the bar.

          How do you explain the completely different UK and US positions on use of Huawei equipment in broadband networks?

          1. Yes Me Silver badge

            Re: National Security is by definition protectionism

            How do you explain the completely different UK and US positions on use of Huawei equipment in broadband networks?Because the UK has no significant networking vendors to protect, and because they and Huawei were willing to go the extra mile to demonstrate the absence of backdoors. And BTW Cisco has sold a lot of kit in China, with features required by the Chinese government. So the American position is unfair as well as anti-competitive. The Australian position is incomprehensible, so is presumably just a matter of sucking up to the Americans.

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: National Security is by definition protectionism

      The US of A doesn't want Chinese spyware running on our cell towers. Gee, how odd!

      So does the UK want Microsoft/Google spyware running in it's parliament, civil service, etc ?

  5. Lysenko

    So I don't really understand where's the real complaint here.

    I suspect the issue is that locking out Chinese companies usually hands the business over to competitors who, via FISA courts and other measures, are under the direct control of a country with a proven track record of spying on allies at the highest level.

    That being the case, measures genuinely based on National Security would ban all Cisco (etc.) equipment and the fact that they don't implies that the real motivation is finding a way to disingenuously bypass international trade agreements and divert cash into the pockets of companies and shareholders in a position to feather political nests.

    1. ST Silver badge

      > [ ... ] locking out Chinese companies usually hands the business over to competitors [ ... ] are under the direct control of a country with a proven track record of spying on allies [ ... ]

      Yes, and that is entirely under the US and/or the Five Eyes countries' remit.

      Australia is 100% OK with NSA's SIGINT activities, as they are part of the Five Eyes agreement. The US is 100% OK with NSA's and GCHQ's SIGINT activities as a matter of law + Five Eyes agreement.

      It's really up to each of the Five Eyes countries to define what National Security means to them. It looks like Chinese SIGINT isn't part of it. We want to keep it in the family.

      Let's not transform China's own interests in SIGINT into some noble civil rights cause, or some principled anti-protectionist protest, because their real motivation isn't either of these, regardless of the shiny wrapper that is being used as disguise.

      1. Lysenko

        Australia is 100% OK with NSA's SIGINT activities, as they are part of the Five Eyes agreement. The US is 100% OK with NSA's and GCHQ's SIGINT activities as a matter of law + Five Eyes agreement.

        I agree. It is entirely possible that they want to push business towards American equipment to ensure that agreed backdoors and cryptographic flaws are present and that the privacy of Australian citizens is not inadvertently enhanced ;)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Its a little hypocritical to make the US or China out to be the bad guy for spying. The truth is we all spy on each other. The US spies on every country in the world and every county in the world spies on them. we shake hands and pretend to be friends but deep down, it is our own countries interests first. we may have common interests, goals and even common enemies. However when it come down to it, it is every country for itself. sure their are incident like the US spying on Merkel, but they just got caught with their had in the cookie jar and Germany is using it as the opportunity to score political points. I am pretty sure that Merkels administration spied on the Obama administration. I would bet my entire paycheck that they are currently spying on the Trump administration, along with everyone else. My point is we are all friends here, but we have political and ideological differences, having the siginit for negotiating with ones allies and enemies could be the difference between success and failure so I don't see anything wrong with it.

  6. mhenriday
    Boffin

    If one cannot compete on price and performance,

    one appeals, as Mr Lacey indicates, to purported «national security» concerns «as a blank cheque to justify or disguise protectionism». Quelle surprise !...

    Henri

  7. Nick Kew Silver badge

    From the department of the bleedin' obvious

    El Reg commentards could have told you that, probably for round about as long as El Reg has existed.

    Though it's got worse during that time due to geopolitical and geoeconomic events: in this case the rise of world-class Chinese giants like Huawei. If the rise of Japan half a century ago is anything to go by, this backdoor protectionism could be part of something uglier.

  8. 4Candle

    Their kit works well, and is in many people's homes already. BT Openreach routers and Huawei mobile phones already have broken into the market.

    What's the real difference between things made for US companies in China and made for Chinese companies in China? As is written above, the code has been inspected by the likes of GCHQ and found to be without a problem.

    1. Paul

      ah yes, we can definitely trust GCHQ to ensure products are secure...

      https://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/01/19/key_voice_encryption_protocol_has_backdoor/

  9. DougS Silver badge

    Submarine cable?

    So long as your country controls the encryption put on it, the provider of the physical pathway between the points can do whatever they want as far as trying to snoop it and won't get anywhere. That part really does sound like protectionism.

  10. rtb61

    National Security - Protectionism

    So let me get this straight, national security is not protectionism, wait what. 'ER' yes, the way governments will national secure their digital infrastructure is to ensure that as much of it as possible is produced locally and not under the control of foreign corporations in turn controlled by foreign governments.

    If I want a secure safe to put my stuff, I do not contract out the decision for the combination number to a contractor in another country, I come up with one myself.

    If you want your digital infrastructure to be as secure as possible, than you have to create as much of it as you can yourself, simply fact of life. So yes that means Free Open Source Software as the proper software model and open electronics design and local plants for high use electronic parts, especially covering communications for what should be self evident reasons but apparently are not.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: National Security - Protectionism

      It's also a simple fact of life that few people actually have skills to do it themselves properly. Meaning you're forced into trusting someone in a world where few can be trusted. Very shaky ground there, especially if you're SO paranoid you're in DTA Mode.

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