At the beginning of October the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee released a report that accused Chinese telecom manufacturers Huawei Technologies and ZTE of being a potential security threat to computer networks and the Internet in the United States and worldwide. There are concerns about the companies’ close ties to the Chinese government and the Chinese Communist Party. The concern is that using the switches, routers, and other telecom gear manufactured by these companies could compromise network security, through software and or hardware elements that would allow the Chinese a “backdoor” into the network, where they could then scan the network for important information, or even disable or reroute traffic to cripple our defensive capabilities in the event of political or military conflicts. It has been recommended that US communications companies avoid buying and deploying networking gear manufactured by these firms.
But what about a different problem? Major U.S. based telecom and networking companies such as Cisco Systems and Tyco, which recently acquired ADC Telecom, have outsourced some or all of their manufacturing processes to China, or are assembling their products with parts that originate from China. European telecom manufacturers are doing likewise. Are the western democracies all at risk of this potential exploit? Are we turning over the keys to the Internet and other major governmental, military and corporate networks to the Big Tiger? You may be interested in a longer story on SiliconValley.comShare