China wants a clear explanation from Washington over a report that the U.S. National Security Agency infiltrated servers in the headquarters of a Chinese telecoms giant, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said on Monday.
Hong Lei, the spokesman, made the remarks at a regular briefing, adding that China was seriously concerned about the spying allegations.
The New York Times and German magazine Der Spiegel on Saturday reported on classified documents, provided by former agency contractor Edward Snowden, that detailed the spying operation.
Huawei defended its independence on Sunday and said it would condemn any infiltration of its servers by the U.S. National Security Agency if reports of such activities by the NSA were true.
“If the actions in the report are true, Huawei condemns such activities that invaded and infiltrated into our internal corporate network and monitored our communications,” Huawei’s global cyber security officer, John Suffolk, told Reuters.
“Corporate networks are under constant probe and attack from different sources – such is the status quo in today’s digital age,” said Suffolk, defending Huawei’s independence and security record, saying it was very successful in 145 countries.
“We certainly don’t build ‘back doors’,” Huawei security chief Suffolk said. Suffolk, who is British, said the company never handed over its source codes to governments either.
“I can’t say what American firms do. We have never been asked to hand over any data to a government or authority or to facilitate access to our technology,” he said. “And we wouldn’t do this either. Our position on this point is very clear.”
The New York Times said one goal of the NSA operation, code-named “Shotgiant”, was to uncover any connections between Huawei and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. But it also sought to exploit Huawei’s technology and conduct surveillance through computer and telephone networks Huawei sold to other nations.