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China Networking Security United States Wireless Networking Technology

US Blocks Huawei From Building LTE Network 156

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-may-or-may-not-be-evil dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The U.S. government has cited national security as a reason not to let Chinese company Huawei build an LTE public safety network. They're worried about Huawei's close ties to the Chinese government and the threat of any devices Huawei manufactures being bugged. Of course, whoever gets the contract is going to be manufacturing their devices in China anyway, but it looks like a Chinese company won't be allowed to deploy the infrastructure."
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US Blocks Huawei From Building LTE Network

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  • by thrill12 (711899) on Friday October 14, 2011 @09:25AM (#37713660) Journal
    ... for advertising with a lot of important and big customers' "success stories" (such as TGV) that were in fact never real customers of Huawei/were never worth a success story. Guess they really are trying hard to set foot 'here'. (http://www.automatiseringgids.nl/nieuws/2011/41/%E2%80%98huawei-jokt-over-europese-klanten%E2%80%99)
    • by WindBourne (631190) on Friday October 14, 2011 @09:47AM (#37713930) Journal
      Not surprised. Just like the 'Chinese success', it is all predicated on constant lies and deceptions. But considering that Huawei is Chinese gov (in fact, more Chinese gov, than America Air was US Gov [wikipedia.org]). In fact, unless a company has outside participation, it is 100% owned AND MANAGED by the gov.
      • by m.ducharme (1082683) on Friday October 14, 2011 @11:49AM (#37715646)

        In fact, unless a company has outside participation, it is 100% owned AND MANAGED by the gov.

        Which is totally incompatible with the American model, where the government is 100% owned and managed by the corporations.

        • Sadly, I agree with you 100%.
          That is why we need 2 new amendments:

          1) a balanced budget amendment. It should be a weak on in which a deficit can be ran IFF 55% of both houses and the president agree. HOWEVER, upon running a deficit and not having approval, then the deficit needs to be automatically dropped 20% and continues each year by that amount, unless congress goes lower or approves more deficits. By making it weak, it should prevent a single party from doing what is being done today. By doing autom
        • Except when said government goes into the business of buying out corporations?

          Oh dear, we seem to have created a loop.

          • No, see when the USG buys a corporation, they don't get to actually run it or take any of the profits. Mostly they just end up absorbing that corp's liabilities, then letting the profitable parts go. The gov doesn't so much "buy" the corp as it "insures" it.

    • by chrb (1083577)

      Yeah, all corporations stretch the truth about the success of their product deployments... remember Microsoft trumpeting their London Stock Exchange big success story? But it turned out that the LSE had so many problems they eventually dumped the entire platform and bought a provider of Linux-based systems instead. Microsoft don't talk about that so much anymore.

      But then what did you expect, that a corporation would actually come out and tell the truth? "We deployed our software at customer site; it was p

      • by Sun (104778)

        "We deployed our software at customer site; it was problematic and buggy, and led to downtime and multiple redesigns, patches and redeployments."

        I do not expect the whole truth from companies' marketing divisions. Just the truth. If, after you have removed all unsuccessful installations you have nothing left, keep you mouth shut.

        Shachar

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Free market, right?

    So the next step is that the Chinese block sales of semiconductors to the US citing national security as the reason...

    • by headhot (137860)

      Good, then it will be harder from them to copy them.

      • by digitig (1056110)
        I didn't realise that the US was in the habit of copying Chinese semiconductors. Maybe you don't understand the word "to", maybe US innovation is in a worse state than I thought.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by erroneus (253617)

      Sounds great! Then we will be FORCED to bring labor back to the US and then there will be jobs and prosperity again.

      Money isn't as much about hoarding money as much as it is about circulating it.

  • Let's see, so the people that need a strong working network get the choice of Motorola or Huawei? Can I throw my hat in the ring and offer them tin cans and miles of string? At least my solution would work.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Difference is, Huawei notoriously counterfeited hardware for years. Highest profile example was Huawei v Cisco, Huawei basically ripped off the hardware and the software 1:1, hex edited their name on to the OS. Huawei does not deserve to be in our market at all.

      • It would have been more diplomatic for the U.S. to have stated that Huawei was denied because of its "Convection" to a prior "cost cutting" business model. Also, I believe that there is a requirement for products that are used for Emergency or Military Communications to be manufactured in the U.S.. Not all things, but definitely Communication Package Systems. In that case, anyone outside the U.S. gets a "red flag" regardless of nationality. From a global point of view, Huawei can peddle its comm. gear a
    • Ha! But your portables, batteries and accessories would NEVER enjoy the immense Floating Point support that's built in to Motorola RF products, batteries, and accessories!

      (For the uninitiated - no, the decimal point never floats to the left.)

      • by geekoid (135745)

        What if I devide by 10?

      • OMG the portable Motorola radios used by the public safety (P25 on 850MHz band) in the county I live in..... $3000 each. They don't even work properly 10% of the time!

        I don't even want to see the receipts for the network itself with the towers, relay dishes, and base infrastructure.

        • LOL, P25 works great as long as you're outside and the building is not on fire.

          So what if you need to reach the tower to talk to the guy in the next room - what could possibly go wrong! /sigh

    • by Kagetsuki (1620613) on Friday October 14, 2011 @10:01AM (#37714080)

      I've dealt with Huwei wireless gear on and off and have constantly found it to be absolutely awful. That is unless you expect things like 3G data adapters to tweak out after 5 minutes because they overheat or IP Phone boxes that drop connections like it's a sport. Seriously, I'd trust tin cans and string with my life before a Huwei product.

  • by omar.sahal (687649) on Friday October 14, 2011 @09:28AM (#37713706) Homepage Journal
    Makes you wonder sometimes why the US gets so suspicions of other nations some times! You need to look at an accusation sometimes and figure out if this is telling you more about the accuser than the accused!
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Actually...you should note that it's more of a national security issue. China's not on the US' friend list. They're not really on anyone's when you get to brass tacks. By law, things that are National Security related can only be allowed by companies affiliated with countries that're our allies and the countries themselves that're our allies. This is pretty much standard for ANY country, including China. Do you think they'd let us build out a similar infrastructure if they weren't able to do it themse

      • China requires foreign companies wanting to set up in their market to enter into a formal partnership with the government (ie. the government basically gets a % of the company), pay higher tax rates than Chinese companies, and basically sign away all patent rights for any technology made or used in the company. Of course they have the right to do anything they want in regard to their policies but they shouldn't be surprised when they get turned down by another country for whatever reason. China might not be
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 14, 2011 @09:48AM (#37713938)

      Cheap anti american b.s.
      They are banned by the UK & India, their "employees" were caught red-handed trying to steal info in Indonesia & India.
      Not to mention that they usually copy products from rivals such as Cisco.

      Seriously, have you any idea what a threat the Chinese government poses to the world? even though they love money now, the country is still run by totalitarian freaks. Do you think anyone at a Chinese corporation can stand up to the Chinese intelligence agencies and say "no"?

      • Also show me evidence of governmental espionage through Huawei's products. I kept hearing accusations against Huawei for years due to prejudice.

        2000: I accuse you for stealing!
        2001: I accuse you because of the earlier accusations in 2000!
        2002: I accuse you because of what the other guys say in 2001!
        2003: I accuse you because you are ... um a thief!
        There is no stealing at all. Just a total paranoa.

      • by Builder (103701)

        Banned in the UK ? Really ?

        They are providing most of the core tech behind 21CN, the country's next big network. They are the reason that Marconi no longer exists.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Makes you wonder sometimes why the US gets so suspicions of other nations some times!

      I don't wonder at all. The US is suspicious of other nations because it would be stupid not to be. Every nation should be suspicious of every other it it wants to continue to exist.

      You need to look at an accusation sometimes and figure out if this is telling you more about the accuser than the accused!

      I don't see any accusations being made.

      Are you trying to suggest that the US is spying on China? Congratulations, you can see the bleeding obvious; you can cancel that ophthalmologist appointment. It's not a secret, it's not a surprise, and you'd be a fool to believe it's not reciprocal.

    • No one is stopping you from buying the red cans and strings. Go for it.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Huawei is a for-profit company, but it's also a government subsidiary. It's like a more freely operated USPS.

      Imagine if there was an article: "US government wants to build public cell phone network in China"

      I think the Chinese would be concerned private communist party communications would be intercepted and read by the US government -- and chances are they would be right.

    • by timeOday (582209)
      Speaking of which, I wonder how US-based network providers like Cisco feel about this? They make a lot of money in China, helping them build the Great Firewall [wired.com] and all that. If there is one sure outcome of this action, it's that China will want to reciprocate in kind. There is no way an insult like this will go unanswered. So I think we have to see this as part of a larger trade war [csmonitor.com] that may be brewing. Stock up on iPhones, everybody!
    • by Ihmhi (1206036)

      Industrial espionage and other types of more mundane spying are the norm during times of general peace. China is well known for their industrial espionage and they're either bad at hiding it or just don't care. It'd be like hiring a man with multiple arrests for burglary as a security guard at a storage center - you're just asking for something bad to happen.

  • You know, it was like the whole security thing. They put people through hell and all the while, the borders remain free and open to the drug trade and to illegal workers... because you know, "terrorists" would never use those channels to get into the US to do their dirty work right?

    Now they are saying "oh no! we can't let the chinese set up things here... they are too close to the chinese government!" Meanwhile, all manufacturing is in China having who-knows-what installed along with the stuff they are m

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      There is no reasonable way to seal US borders.
      There are 12,034 km of land boarders and 19,924 km of coastline.

      Even if our entire military people was stationed at the borders smugglers could still fly over or tunnel under. Much of this border is in areas that are totally or nearly uninhabited, costs to feed and transport this border protection force would be on the scale of a major war. You would also have to have these people inspect every container that comes into US ports. 7 million containers come into

      • by erroneus (253617)

        While I won't disagree with the problems of real and total security, doing this ridiculous partial security thing isn't even approaching to be the answer.

        And believe me when I tell you I know what it was like from the beginning -- I was among the first batch of TSA screeners and was one for about two years. I saw LOTS and LOTS of stupid.

        • While I won't disagree with the problems of real and total security, doing this ridiculous partial security thing isn't even approaching to be the answer.

          Dude... That's all we do here in the U.S. Safety costs too much money from about 2000 A.D. on.

      • by Duradin (1261418) on Friday October 14, 2011 @10:43AM (#37714680)

        "costs to feed and transport this border protection force would be on the scale of a major war."

        Given just the cost of transporting fuel in Afghanistan moving the troops there to the Mexican border would probably be on the scale of a minor police action and not a major war.

        Move some bases down there and do boot camp on the border.

        Tunnels can be detected (to a point where they'd have to dig too deep to be practical) if anyone bothers to put the devices and manpower in and flights over the border would make for cheap gunnery practice.

        As for people starving, NPR interviewed a tomato farmer all upset that his illegals were fleeing some new laws, illegals that had skills the local work force lacks, hmm, sounds like the job for a work visa, of course, they wouldn't be cheap illegals then.

        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          We have a massive coastline. Moving fuel and troops to the AK coastline would probably cost near as much as Afghanistan. There are no roads, you would have to build them.

          The Mexican border is similar, lots of it is just desert, you could not find enough troops to fill such boot camps. The stuff you are talking about doing would cripple the US economy.

          • by Duradin (1261418)

            Moving goods/people to AK and through Canada back to the US wouldn't be cheap for the ne'er-do-wells either.

            Don't need to lock down the entirety of the borders, just the ones profitable enough to violate. Alaska would work much like the bulk of Russia, let the land itself be the defenses.

            We seem to be up for supporting multiple foreign fronts in under developed areas. Pull the bulk of the troops out of foreign theaters and what standing army we have can be standing in Roman style border posts.

      • by readin (838620)

        There is no reasonable way to seal US borders. There are 12,034 km of land boarders and 19,924 km of coastline.

        Even if our entire military people was stationed at the borders smugglers could still fly over or tunnel under.

        I guess this is why the wall Israel built has been such a huge failure [sarcasm] and why South Korea has removed all obstacles and stopped patrolling along their border with North Korea [more sarcasm].

        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          Compare the size of those nations and who their neighbors are.
          We have more uninhabited coastline in AK than the whole border of Israel.

          • by readin (838620)
            Look a the shapes and resources of those nations. Our biggest current issue, the border with Mexico, is far smaller compared to our GDP and resources than what South Korea and Israel have to defend from North Korea and terrorist attacks.
          • As someone else already explained, the coastline of most of Alaska is irrelevant. Anyone landing there would have a hell of a time getting just about anywhere else. I agree: we could spend the money currently being spent in Iraq and Afghanistan, Libya, etc. along our "lower 48" borders instead. The money would stay at home rather than being pissed away overseas, and there are enough people to do a decent job.
  • by CMcQueeny (682013) * on Friday October 14, 2011 @09:36AM (#37713794)
    Even if we assume they're both tainted with devious Chinese spyware (and I'm not sure that China would want to harm such a huge and valuable debtor, by the way) which of these sounds like a bigger threat:

    1. A large Chinese-built wireless network which the government can monitor or shut down with relative ease.

    2. A vast semi-regulated sea of Chinese-built devices of all kinds flowing into the US, too many to be effectively controlled or destroyed, many of them used by emergency and government workers.

    Come on, people. Maybe China is a threat to us and maybe it isn't, but if there's a problem, at least attack it in a logical way.
    • by chrb (1083577)

      Those two choices are not mutually exclusive, and they aren't even the right choices. You have mixed up two things: 1) building the network 2) building the devices that will use the network. The real choice is:

      1. A large wireless network supplied by Huawei, and manufactured in China, which the government can monitor or shut down with relative ease.

      2. A large wireless network supplied by companyX, and manufactured in China, which the government can monitor or shut down with relative ease.

      The devices th

    • Maybe you could describe in more detail of, "devices of all kinds flowing into the U.S.?"
    • by Kjella (173770)

      Even if we assume they're both tainted with devious Chinese spyware (and I'm not sure that China would want to harm such a huge and valuable debtor, by the way) which of these sounds like a bigger threat:

      I don't think you should ever try to predict what can happen with alliances and defense pacts, surprise attacks and whatnot. It's not like the US pre-WWII would predict they'd be at war with Italy and Japan, possibly Germany but even that is doubtful. If say India and Pakistan or the Middle East start a war it can easily escalate into WWIII with US and China on opposing sides. I don't for one second buy that we're "beyond" war. Besides, there's a small causality loop there, when people are sure the oppositi

    • 3. Roll back all the taxes and regulations that prevent them from being manufactured in the US in the first place.

      bwahahhaah, no, let's wave our huge penises at China and taunt, "losers!"

  • wait... hang on... it's ok for the U.S. govt to *actually* have warrantless wiretapping, but it's not ok to have china *maybe* doing warrantless wiretapping? huh. how about Huawei provide the full schematics and full source code of the LTE Cell-Towers under license, and the parts be manufactured in... oh wait, the cheapest place to have the parts manufactured is: China.

    • by Frosty Piss (770223) * on Friday October 14, 2011 @09:42AM (#37713886)

      it's ok for the U.S. govt to *actually* have warrantless wiretapping, but it's not ok to have china *maybe* doing warrantless wiretapping?

      Under US laws? Yes.

      • Be careful what you call "law". Unconstitutional legislation or action by the government is technically not "law", even though it looks and smells like one. Although it sometimes operates under the color of law until it eventually gets shut down.
        • Be careful what you call "law". Unconstitutional legislation or action by the government is technically not "law", even though it looks and smells like one. Although it sometimes operates under the color of law until it eventually gets shut down.

          Tell that to the guards while you cool your heels in the brig at Quantico.

          • That has nothing to do with my point. I already stated that "sometimes it operates under the color of law".

            But that still does not make it legal, and that does not prevent you from trying to get compensation if it's ever done to you.
            • Well, it's all good and well to pontificate. We'll see if Bradley Manning has the opportunity to get "compensation".

              I am not a lawyer, and probably neither are you. I think it's a bit silly to be quoting popular isolated out of context bits and pieces of complex constitutional nuggets. The *reality* is that in the end, the government *will* prevail and if not, no one in particular will be punished, and folks like Manning will still spend many many years in prison for which there realliy is no adequate finan

              • "Well, it's all good and well to pontificate."

                Yes, apparently it is, since you're doing plenty of it.

                I didn't say it was right. I didn't say it was fair. I didn't say you would win *IF* you tried to get compensation. But somehow you seem to assume I stated all those things anyway, even though they don't appear anywhere here in print.

                I am as sympathetic with Bradley Manning as you are, perhaps even more so. But that still has nothing to do with the point I did make, and I still never stated any of those other things.

                So why don't you shut off yo

    • by WindBourne (631190) on Friday October 14, 2011 @09:50AM (#37713982) Journal
      How did you get modded up? If we do wiretapping of telecom networks ESP. SECURED networks, in another nation, that would be called .... SPYING. And NO nation sees that as being legal.
      • I believe that the parent comment believes that the bad guys are just a couple goofs. That would be a grave decision. But I'm still trying to wrap my head around the "Patriot Act;" Its short sited nature concerns me, go figure.
        • Patriot act is a NIGHTMARE. Parts of it were needed, but it was obviously designed to allow the feds far more abilities than was needed. And the lack of oversight on it is just amazing. Personally, I was shocked and disgusted that Obama did not at least put more leashes on it. OTH, I expected such behavior out of W, Cheney, and Rumsfeld. In fact, for that group, I expected far worse. My guess is that they KNEW that they could not get by with worse than what they had.

          HOWEVER, the fact that my gov. spies on
          • Even the idea that "parts of it were needed" is highly questionable.
            • I guess the first thing that I wince at, is just its name; that short sightedness mocks the historic record.
            • Parts of it really were needed. The fact is that AQ shifts all over the net and phones. Heck, they have even quit encrypting since it points directly at them and allows us the ability to know where to look. Our earlier laws were made for a much slower time.

              The real issue with Patriot act is that it has been applied far more liberally than it was intended. In fact, it has been mostly used to go after drug dealers, gangs, etc more so then it has been against true terrorists such as AQ. Worse is that we say
              • "The fact is that AQ shifts all over the net and phones."

                That may be so, but even if it is, it does not mean that

                "Parts of it really were needed."

                ... is a conclusion that logically follows.

                Please give me specific instances of those "necessary" parts of the Patriot Act having had some real, tangible benefit... like, say, catching terrorists.

                If you can give me some, I might be convinced. Otherwise, I will stick with my original position.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I realize you're trying for irony or critical whatever, but...this is an important distinction.

      When the US gov't does it. It [IMO] is a constitutional violation. But, being a government--and the most powerful one on the planet... it is de jure legal.

      When a nation does it to another nation it's espionage. That's illegal everywhere.

      Last but not least--when a nation does it the government of a nation it does not officially recognize... well, you've probably got government contractors involved and it's free

    • by Desler (1608317)

      Yes, pretty much every country considers being spied on by other countries to not be okay. Are you an idiot?

  • So the US is basically just trusting that whoever puts the network in won't take advantage of the situation? That's frightening.
  • We're worried about the Chinese (perhaps understandably), but we can't prevent our own companies from interfering with the military?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LightSquared#Interference_issues

  • All of this equipment is already manufactured in China, so what's the difference who installs it?

    • Cisco actually has equipment here that is manufactured here for sale to various groups of the USA. I would guess that they also sell to EU gov. as well. The feds SHOULD put a requirement that all of the equipment for backbones and TLAs be required to have all equipment manufactured in friendly nations that have decent oversight. It does not have to be in America, but, it needs to occur in NATO nations, Australia, Japan, etc. And even Japan and Australia have some lacks security issues that will need to be
  • The government doesn't like to have competition in bugging the populace.

    • by Desler (1608317)

      Duh? You believe the Chinese government would voluntarily allow the us government to spy on its country?

      • I think you missed the joke! :)

        The US is spying on us (wiretapping, etc)- they don't want China doing it too- they don't want competition spying on us.

  • India had blocked Huawei and basically all chinese telecom players for a while over the same/similar reason, but has now reallowed them (dont know the exact reason why)
  • by ledow (319597) on Friday October 14, 2011 @10:44AM (#37714700) Homepage

    In England, we're actually encouraging them into our 4G networks:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/10/10/cornish_lte/ [theregister.co.uk]

    • by Nadaka (224565)

      England is a little farther along in its emulation of the Chinese surveillance state than the US is.

  • it should be built by the government, with government engineers and workers.

  • The US intelligence community is simply applying Tom Clancy's Law to this situation: If it sounds like the prologue to one of his novels, then it is a bad idea.

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." -- Albert Einstein

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