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US saves self from Huawei spying by spying on Huawei spying

Snowdenistas say NSA hacked Chinese company, accessed source code

A fake tattoo on the leg of Canberra Raiders footballer Sandor Earl, sent by Huawei as an April Fool

Maybe this is why the US government is so certain Huawei is bad news: Snowdenistas at The New York Times and Der Spiegel have reported another communiqué from their source-in-exile – this time to the effect that the United States National Security Agency penetrated Chinese networking equipment vendor Huawei and monitored its communications.

The reports suggest an operation called “Shotgiant” tried to access Huawei source code with the intention of installing back doors the NSA could use.

Putting back doors in place was seen as a good idea because some NSA targets used Huawei kit. NSA officials also liked the idea of a back door as a way to determine if Huawei kit was sending any information back to China.

The NSA's attacks on Huawei are reported to have also yielded a tap on communications among senior executives.

The USA and Australia have restricted Huawei's ability to trade in their nations on the basis that the company represents a threat to national security. While the nature of that threat has never been detailed, if Snowden's latest leak is correct and being understood in the correct context we can at least see how the two nations might have reached the decision to make life hard for Huawei.

That the USA seems to have decided the best way to protect itself from the threat of state surveillance posed by Huawei by using state surveillance to compromise Huawei is, however, a rich irony. ®

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