U.S. officials said China-based Huawei Technologies uses “back doors” designed for law enforcement applications to secretly access mobile phone networks worldwide, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.
The officials said the Chinese telecommunications firm has had the capability for more than 10 years and has developed equipment that covertly maintains the company’s ability to gain access to networks through “lawful interception interfaces” without the knowledge of network operators.
“We have evidence that Huawei has the capability secretly to access sensitive and personal information in systems it maintains and sells around the world,” said national security adviser Robert O’Brien.
Another senior U.S. official said the Chinese firm does not disclose the secret access to local clients and national security agencies of host countries.
“The use of the lawful interception interface is strictly regulated and can only be accessed by certified personnel of the network operators. No Huawei employee is allowed to access the network without an explicit approval from the network operator,” said a senior official for the company.