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Tuesday, 19 June 2018 11:35

Huawei: US spies appear to have no evidence to back claims

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As the Huawei issue builds towards a showdown in Australia, one thing has become abundantly clear: none of the American intelligence agencies have any evidence to prove, even remotely, the claims that are being against the Chinese telecommunications giant.

Huawei is not the only company the US Government has been pursuing; Washington has also taken aim at Kaspersky Lab, the well-known Russian security firm.

But in the case of Kaspersky, the government's case was bolstered by stories in the mainstream  press in October last year that made claims about spying by the Russian firm. Technically, these stories had plenty of holes but then such things are overlooked in the hysteria of "Russia hacked the DNC".

It is logical to assume that if any of the American intelligence agencies had any similar way of casting aspersions on Huawei, they would have done so. Leaking to the media is a way of life among spooks; American businesses are supported by intelligence agencies and vice versa.

The absence of any evidence against Huawei means that the US Government — which, make no mistake, is the entity driving the push against the company's involvement in 5G in Australia — has had to depend on innuendo.

But it has always had a loud megaphone and, aided by willing media outlets who ask few questions but play the role of stenographers with glee, the myths about Huawei are now almost as accepted as Holy Writ.

Huawei has, uncharacteristically, hit  back  publicly in the last fortnight or so, with its Australia chairman John Lord fronting the ABC on a couple of occasions and other company officials joining him in a bid to lobby politicians.

Despite this, it is quite clear that Australia will follow the US and not give Huawei a role in the 5G rollout. Politicians in Australia have shown a remarkable lack of backbone when it comes to dealing with orders from Washington and this time it will be no different.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is geared towards one thing, and one thing, only and that is his political survival. Given a choice between logic and American desires, it is quite easy to conclude which option he will take.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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