Huawei NZ almost certainly a front for Chinese intelligence - defence analyst

Huawei boss and former People's Liberation Army officer Ren Zhengfei

Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei - involved in a $1.35 billion Ultrafast Broadband project in New Zealand - is almost certainly a front for Chinese intelligence, a defence analyst claims.

That's the collective view of the security community in the US, Britain and Australia, according to Auckland-based defence analyst Paul Buchanan, who says it would be prudent for Prime Minister John Key to listen to them.

Dr Buchanan worked for the US Department of Defence before imigrating to New Zealand.

Huawei has been blocked from bidding for the national broadband network in Australia. In the US it is blocked by Congress in 2008 from buying networking company 3Com, and in 2010 Congress blocked them from bidding on telecommunications gear for Sprint.

"Our major security partners think these guys are up to no good. I would be very surprised if the GCSB and the SIS had not been in contact with our larger partners about the presence of Huawei in the New Zealand broadband market," Dr Buchanan told NBR.

"It could well be that concerns about these guys are about protecting market share for local businesses. But I think this is unlikely, so I tend to think their security concerns probably have a basis in fact."

Dr Buchanan believes Huawei could be intent on tapping into the top-secret Echelon intelligence network in which New Zealand exchanges highly classified information with the US, Britain, Australia and Canada.

"China has no such luxury. It has to do everything by itself and it's been lagging behind with signals intelligence and technical intelligence, and they've been playing catch-up for the last 10 years.

"But if they're going to be a great power they've got to do this. They've got to get out and get a significant signals and technical intelligence capability, and the suspicion among the Americans and the British is that Huawei is one way of doing something."

Dr Buchanan says there's no hard and fast evidence in the public domain that Huawei is up to no good. But he believes there is classified information in the hands of US intelligence agencies which would implicate the company in covert activities.

"Professional intelligence agencies do not deal in prejudice, they deal in facts. So whether they were Chinese, Indian, German or Pakistani it wouldn't matter.

"If these agencies think they are being used as a front they will say so and so it's not about being anti-Chinese."

So what is Huawei's primary objective in New Zealand if it is a front for the Chinese security services?

Paul Buchanan thinks it goes way beyond commercial considerations.

"With their global weight they can undercut the pricing structure of the whole local internet should they wish to, but in providing these platforms and being the basis for internet communications allows them indirect access to a number of things.

"If you have a government official's private broadband account on a server that is controlled by Huawei then, if people's suspicions are correct, they can tap into that.

"They can tap into government agencies, they may be using their servers or platforms, and that's what the Americans and others are concerned about.

"And let's not forget that New Zealand is particularly vulnerable to cyber espionage. This has been mentioned time and time again by the SIS.

"Within the last six weeks Murray McCully's private emails in which he had been discussing official business were hacked into and leaked to the press by people with an axe to grind.

"These people were not professional intelligence collectors with hundreds of hackers working right round the day to penetrate security systems of government agencies.

"They were just disgruntled folks, and that shows you the looseness of internet security protocols in this country - that a government minister can have his private emails hacked into by amateurs."

Dr Buchanan says New Zealand must stop thinking of itself as too insignificant and too remote for any major player to take a keen interest in it.

"I think that's a bit short sighted because we're part of a much bigger play as the south Pacific is becoming an arena for future competition and whether we like it or not we're being thrust into this fray."

All of which raises a fundamental question.

If Huawei is a wolf in sheep's clothing, did New Zealand do enough due diligence on it before allowing the company to set up shop here?

Paul Buchanan thinks not.

"I think sometimes in the quest to be market competitive the government sometimes overlooks the security concerns with the entrance of a foreign competitor such as a firm that has very direct ties to the Chinese State.

"There is a perception that China is now a market capitalist country. It is not. It is a state capitalist country run by a one-party authoritarian state.

"Nothing happens in their strategic sectors without the explicit permission and involvement of the Chinese State, specifically not in telecommunications.

"There's no such thing as pure private enterprise, particularly in the strategic sector, so the idea of Huawei having no State involvement, quite frankly, defies credulity.

"That's where the reports from the States and the Australians are very important because they detail the amount of capital the Chinese government has put into Huawei, and they detail the number of individuals who have come from Chinese intelligence to work as managers in Huawei.

"So are we doing enough vetting when it comes to this sort of business? Well, my answer would be no."

Dr Buchanan says now that Huawei is ensconced in New Zealand it would be very difficult to dislodge it as it would undermine this country's Free Trade Agreement with China.

But if the company's presence jeopardises our intelligence-sharing relationship with our closest allies it could force the government to have second thoughts about allowing it to remain here.

"The bottom line is that our security partners have these concerns, seem to have some reason to believe that they are an espionage threat and we're ignoring those concerns. John Key might want to take them on board."


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How do we know Dr Buchanan isn't an employee of the CIA?

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@ "Wondering"; how do we know you are/aren't?

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It's better to be safe than sorry.

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Good point...The amercian acsent could go a long way to explaining this.

What is intelligence anyway? If you have something to hide, it probably smells fishy.

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Doesn't matter, I see Investigate magazine has just published a leaked intelligence briefing on Chinese infiltration of NZ and Australia using front companies.
<url>http://www.investigatemagazine.co.nz/Investigate/?p=2655</url>

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Good if he is..NZ's security too lax...

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What is the point of our links and liaisons with other intelligence agencies if we take no notice of them?!

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Are these not the same intelligence agencies that convinced UK, US and AU politicians to pre-emptively strike Iraq on suspicion of developing WMD. I am not convinced either way yet. However the authors statement "Professional intelligence agencies do not deal in prejudice" is not supported by recent history.

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How embarrassing that NZ get caught with their pants down AGAIN over technology *holds head in shame*

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Was it not the intelligence agencies of the US, UK and AUS that conviced the politicians to pre-emptively attach Iraq on suspicion of building WMD? We must dispute the authors statement: "Professional intelligence agencies do not deal in prejudice, they deal in facts". I am not convinced.

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if that is true then who in the heck would want anything to do with Huawei or maybe even with the Ultra Fast Broadband network at all? Is it safe?

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The government's performance in this matter is an embarrassment. Questions raised in 2010 about Huawei's ties to Chinese military and intelligence were brushed aside by Key and Joyce. It proves once again that these simpleminded rubes are not fit to make decisions where technology is concerned. No confidence.

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Is it possible at all that these plonkers WANT NZ to be open to the Chinese? I for one wil never vote any party that at all supports any form of chinese expansion. Take a good look NZ, we will soon se it all cut down and burned in the fires of industry. All in the name of chinese expansion.....plus we will all be speaking Mandarin, not the fruit.

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"China Threat" is the best drug to use to get the people addicted to and get "high" which can surely make people disregard everything else when on drugs. Dr Buchanan once again takes the opportunity to come out to pass around the drugs to the public who are willing to suck it up. There is a demand, there is a supply.

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Who annointed Paul Buchanan the guru of defense analysts - I have never heard of the plonker before yesterday - has anyone else

This country's xenophobia is going to keep us at the bottom of the OECD

We make good inroads into improving our position ( with Free Trade Agreenments with China ) and then go backwards twice as much by this nonsense.

Those countries solely holding onto the USA as their ally will sink along with the USA as teh US economy and world status slowly sinks - the only way the US can gain ground economically is by creating wars

The smart countries will be involved with both China and the USA and not take sides.
The USA will not run away if we start dealing more with China as they won't want a Chinese backed country sitting smack at the bottom of the Pacific and also close to Australia.

John Key is doing the right thing for NZ Inc by playing a two handed game

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The Doctor - if you have not heard of Paul Buchanan, then you must have been living in a cave.

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All data available in NZ is transparent to the NSA of USA so what difference does it make if the Chinese also have access to the same data? Level playing field anybody?

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USA have been doing the same thing... Glad to see John isn't bending over for USA al the time :P

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A few years ago a travel agency in Hong Kong bought an aircraft carrier from Ukraine claiming it was to become a floating casino in Macau. When it got to China, it made its way to the PLA Navy. This is how business is done in China - a lot of companies are fronts for the PLA and the state. Beware NZ. Mr Key is either wilfully ignorant or just plain reckless.

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one thing is certain china is a one party state therefore everything has a goverment part in that country ban thier broard band co fron nz

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Clearly the US is concerned about two problems happening:
* perhaps their current way of gathering information using the same methods are under threat
* some of their largest tax paying and employing companies are under significant threat from a cheaper, almost as good, technology.

So they putting the FUD out there and "helping" people see spies in the corners that suit.

We need to maintain our own status of an honest, innovative, hardworking country that is trying to compete on the world stage for the benefit of our people.

That means trading with countries that we feel comfortable with, exactly as you would do in the corporate world.

At the end of the day why are the US and Co suddenly worried about a Chinese company. By this rationale every electronic device made in China could be sending back secret signals on what you are up to.

Imagine a device or application that looks at your every move and logs it back to another country for them to use in future dealings with you........

Google anyone?
Apple anyone?

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Missed of course, Mr Microsft anyone?

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Missed of course, Mr Microsoft anyone?

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What a load of xenophobic cobblers by Dr Buchanan

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My perception of China at this time is that they are trying to introduce more Democracy into their Country.

The UK don't seem to have any problems with Huawei. Isn't the company that is laying the subsea cable to Australia British?

I don't think anyone should be putting road blocks in front of China as this would just encourage the control freaks(military types) in China to stop democracy and turn everyone in the world back to cold war conditions.
If China wanted to they could mass produce aircraft carriers and stealth fighters.

This would be a strategic failure for the west. We would have lost China

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NZ being fed yellow peril pills again.

And as usual, just because Australia swallowed an overdose, NZ must also swallow?

What happened with the Vietnam and Iraq wars show how skeptical NZ must be all the time of any kind of intelligence from the US.

Luckily, NZ had a government which had the guts to tell the US to stick it when it came to Iraq. Australia did not because Australia basically swallows whole everything the US throw at them.

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"Dr Buchanan believes there is classified information in the hands of US intelligence agencies which would implicate the company in covert activities"

Well if the USA doesnt want to share such "classified information" then NZ obviously isnt as much of an ally as it thinks it is in which case go with China! If NZ is a good ally then USA will share the info and if NZ is not aware of it then it simply doesnt exist. Simple as that really. Either way China wins my vote as no information has been forthecoming from the USA with hard evidence.

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Information security relies on the encryption algorithm instead of the network. Huawei or anyone can intercept anything they want, but they won't be able to decrypt it. Dr Buchanan should understand this basic security principal, so his motivation is questionable.

Also, the security of government departments and ministries depends on the firewall they implement between their own network and the internet. They can choose to use Cisco internally, and it does not matter who provides the outgoing link (in this case Huawei).

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Is the Huawei software and firmware open source? If it is then there isn't any concern, but if not then we have no idea what back doors are in there. This does not just apply to Huawei but to any supplier from anywhere.

Back doors can do all kinds of stuff, though if the information is encrypted in the first place it is probably safe. The problems arise when the firewalls and the encryption is bypassed for some reason (eg McCully had emails forwarded to his personal email address-classic). Also decrypting information is not the only worry. if the supplier is ordered by their government to pressure us they can just take down our network by crashing the servers/routers/switches etc.
I don't believe anyone ought to have this power, Chinese or otherwise, and if they publish their source we can see if they've added back doors in their code or not.

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Several commentators try to brush of claims that Huawei is involved with the Chinese government and intelligence efforts. None of them make any effort to actually address any of the claims directly, instead they use ad-hominem tactics spurting rhetoric like RACISM, IRAQ WMD!! which really does not invalidate any claim of Chinese state/military involvement in Huawei. Indeed the fact that their is no direct discussion about these claimed connections by the government or anyone trying to discredit them actually serves to legitimize them further.

Furthermore certain people proceed to talk about "trade partnership" and other such jargon. However china has had a rather good trade relationship with us, from seizing Fontera's Chinese operations/assets, to stealing intelectual property, to attempting to protect themselves from foreign trade dependence by the deploying of over 1,000,000 Chinese workers in Africa (which have all their supplies shipped in from Beijing) to oversea their african assets. South Korea is slightly better, a single city worried about money leaving it aquired over half of madagascar for agricultural purposes, unfortunatly endangered animals and fauna are having to be cleared at great expense so this can be utilized as farm land. China is attempting to buy farmland also, by purchasing the crayford land illegally seized by the government, and by having government assistsance they can further enhance their farming ability and reduce dependence on imports. Of course the cost we paid in domestic industry and outsourcing is trivial, the loss of wealth mobility by the inability to compete with cheap large-scale chinese slave labor whilst burdened with ruinous red tape is insignificant. No I say, why not, lets just chuck another domestic industry onto the sacrificial alter of impending_poverty and foreign ownership. (sarcasim)

Nevertheless Huawei is a foreign firm backed by the raisable taxation of over 1billion people in one of the worlds largest economies. They are competting for a contract to build domestic infrastructure in a country with less than 5million people in, and to make it worse the government is subsidizing most of the cost. If china, a country with foreign reserves greater than the entire canadian share markets capitalization is given the green light to start buying assets in australia and new zealand then we will become forever impoverished owning no assets and therefore having to try and outbid chineese labor for a living. This can not be allowed to happened, it is treason and will destroy the country.
_____
Additionally I shall add that in my opinion NBR is the best national newspaper, they are far more objective than the others, and they cover things other papers would never dare. They have even been subject to state censorship for previous publications and have documented many important things that where not even mentioned anywhere else. Also China has over 800,000 Spies world wide, and the triad which is the chineese state gang set up to support foreign buisness operations employs over 4million people. To suggest that we can have good relations with a country that operates armed gangs to support mercantile activity in foreign countries is ludicrous.

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<i>To suggest that we can have good relations with a country that operates armed gangs to support mercantile activity in foreign countries is ludicrous.</i

What a silly comment. That is <i>exactly</i> what the British and other Western countries did to China for a whole century, the armed gangs of course being the British Navy, and the main item forced on the Chinese was narcotics.

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Our maritime history is irrelevant to whether or not we can have a good trade relationship with the sort of country that china is today. Yet you hypocritically demonize the royal navies protection of legitimate naval trade whilst simultaneously comparing it to the Triad (the largest ever criminal organization) and defending it's atrocities. I think this shows just how wrong you really are.
________________________
In response to the accusation of bad activities by the British Maritime fleet:

As a global trader with investments in production all around the world we cater to the domestic demands of national markets. As traders we exert little influence on the type and prudence of said domestic demand. Nor as traders or as the British Empire is it in anyway our responsibility to ensure the welfare of foreigners and the competency to which they manage their own affairs. They are free to make as many bad decisions as they desire, we do not own them, they are not our slaves!!

Furthermore as a global trader, empire & controller of over 25% of land & people, the foremost naval power and with our reputation and policy of not tolerating insolence, the consequences of Chinese aggression are both predictable and justifiable. Seizure of British ships and application of Chinese law to British subjects is in direct violation of our sovereignty and therefore constitutes an act of war against British people and our crown.

Every free man, women and country is inherently responsible for their own actions. We are not responsible for Chinese substance abuse, to imply so, is to imply that the seller is responsible for how his products are used. This is not and has never been the legal case under common or British law. As far as I am concerned you can take your anti-british hate speak back to china or wherever it is you came from you foreign swine!!

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As the British forced opium down the throats of the Chinese of old, so now are the youth of Britain being consumed by drug addiction.

Bloody good show too!

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To A Chinese Software Developer - yes, you are correct, another point here is that the article says if a government official's broadband connection is on a server hosted by Huawei then it will be tapped into - this is not how the UFB will work, the accounts and logins will be hosted by ISPs not by Huawei itself.

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You spread lies, your claim that encrypted data can not be unencrypted is a lie. Your insinuation that information can only be tapped at the destination is wrong. Your convenient omission that Huwei will not just be building that one project is shameful. How about you stop spouting your lies. And their is no such thing as a kiwi, it is an artifical identity imposed upon the british colonials of new zealand. Much like communism tried to destroy identity in the USSR and EU.

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It's news to me that the EU was communist. Did you mean Comecon or is this part of the European = liberal = socialist = communist = Nazi = Kenyan lunacy?

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Let me see. An ex US defence Dept employee turned analyst (knee lobbyist?) is raising the alarm and his profile by alerting us bumpkins to the fact that ex intelligence agency members who go into the private business sector may retain mutually useful connections to their previous state employer.

Just how big an industry in NZ is there to sustain defence analysts anyway? Maybe it requires diversification into other domains such as, I don’t know, telecommunications security consultancy or freelance lobbyist for related commercial interests?

In China it’s a global conspiracy but in the US it’s called the revolving door where it becomes impossible to tell private and government interests apart.

What I think we really have here is a turf war. China is moving into strategic and business areas that the US has traditionally earmarked as its own. Some of which it’s hardly had to work for, which increasingly is no longer the case. Now there is a competitor.

To say that national intelligence agencies aren’t biased is to ignore reality. That is precisely their function, to promote their nations cause against that of perceived enemies.

This innate national bias towards their nations own cause can thus (in the case of the US) see possession of several carrier fleets circling the globe as normal but one refurbished carrier with limited off shore capabilities as military expansionism; multiple invasions and occupations as stabilising; threats of pre-emptive first strikes as defensive and any retaliatory responses as aggressive.

In the US mind frame China’s function is to stay at home, grant US corporations’ unfettered access to its domestic market and cheap labour and eschew all projections of power or influence commensurate with it growing economy.

To think that the US doesn't exploit politics and power to further its business interest is to ignore the evidence of wiki leaks and the fact that international access to domestic markets for US businesses has always been central to US foreign policy.

The fact that Australia has excluded Huawei says more about that and their concerns for preserving the special relationship with the US and its intelligence agencies rather than any empirical threat. They took them at their word re WMD’s in Iraq, are stationing US marine’s to counter the Chinese threat yet all the while booming off its economy.

I for one would be more convinced by reading about how, when and where Huawei has done what it is accused off rather an alarmist scenario predicated on an ‘if’.

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Oh no Chinese mega upload.....quickly buy back the jet fighters better still send in Tama

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The key point, is that no mega rich Chinese individuals or company's exist, without owing a pound of flesh to the controlling elite in China.The western world opened its arms to China with the 2008 Olympics..their promise keeping is now on record, and not a good look. Any Chinese company involved in a strategy sphere, such as telecommunications, simply cannot be trusted..end of line..sad, but true. And not changing anytime soon, while the rest of the world salivates like Pavlov's dog over the prospect of making money with China..

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most of the punters out there have no idea what interception capabilities are available, and when you have a essentially a external security agency having control over layer 1 and above on a network, i know what id want our providers to put in.

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North Korea probably doesn't have much of a problem with spies from other countries, but you can safely assume that ANY diplomatic mission, United States, Finnish, even our friends and former imperial masters the British will be spying on us, and equally that there is not much the SIS or any other government agency can do about it. As an historical aside, when the world's cables were went through British territories at some point on their journey, not a single message escaped unread.

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Hang on, hang on... You are so far removed, first of all the settlers that came here where and are British. You do not cease being whom you are just because you crossed a line of territorial demarcation within an empire. We are not ruled by the British, we are (99.99% of people whom have been here for over 100 years) British whether you like it or not. Our flag is a British flag, with the union jack in it. Our military ships are HMS, and our airforce the royal airforce. Our queen, the british queen. We are are a British dominion, I am British. My ancestors came here all that time ago to build this British Dominion. And infact untill 1979 when that wench "Helen Clark" (a known member of communist youth organizations) changed the law our passports correctly read "british citizens of the dominion of new zealand". If you go back just two generations everyone considered themselves british, it is only communist propaganda that accounts for anything else. In fact most old people still consider themselves british. It is only people brought up on american style TV and subject to multicultural state policies. Shame on you.

This country is the rightfull property of the British, founded by British capital, and British Labour. The support of the maori was brought by British gold, and British trade. The imigration that has happend over the last 30 or so years is just that, a 30 year trend of imigration implemented by communists. The land does not belong to those people whom came over in this 30 year period of immigration, it belongs to us, to the people whom my ancestors broke their back labouring so that we could live in prosperity.

Shame on you for spreading bigotry and racism, shame for trying to usurp land and for spreading disinformation.

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@ Anonymous <quote>This country is the rightfull property of the British,.....

Shame on you for spreading bigotry and racism, shame for trying to usurp land and for spreading disinformation.</quote>

More like this country was stolen by the British. By usurping land through laws that the locals had no say in, war etc. The shame is with you to state otherwise.

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This is a very poor article. Mr security analyst admits upfront that he doesn't actually know anything about this situation and that it might be about protectionism.

If the Chinese government wants to infiltrate computer networks there are many easier ways than having to bid on providing fibre optic cable.

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"Professional intelligence agencies do not deal in prejudice, they deal in facts" what a joke. Does Israel and Palenstine ring a bell? I really hate how the US wants to control everything in the world, no we do not need a "world police". And this website has really lost it's integrity, how can any old bloke with absolutely no evidence at all feature in an article?!? Like seriously?!? Oh and the article stenches of biasm, he worked for the US defence of course he would encourage NZ to drop all ties with China, this article simply put is xenophobic. NZ doesn't need to take sides in this indirect war between US and China when they are clearly benefiting from both sides. And the US must stop with their "cold war mentallity", it is hurting the world's economy, they fight wars, sanction countries, undercut others, etc.

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I hope Buchanan has got deep pockets and cast iron proof of his allegations. People get sued for a lot less.

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Keep taking the pills, Jacob.

If encryption is so easy to break, who cares who provides the hardware - anyone can read your data anyway! However, I'm not so convinced, and if I've ever got anything I want to keep secret from the Chinese & Americans, I'll encrypt it.

Your best starting point for secure communications is to assume your enemy is reading your messages already.

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If this article is true, it makes 2degrees look like absolute plonkers,having their network built and financed by Huawei, and selling loads of Huawei handsets.

maybe 2degrees shoud change their name to "Ni deglees"

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Hmm scare mongering? Who stands to gain from starting this type of rumor? Huawai are the third largest manufacturer of telecommunications equipment in the would. So lets look at the facts, They have invested in NZ and two protectionist countries have blocked Huawai competing in their markets. The rest of the article is idle speculation.

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I would say we have more to fear from the likes of Endace?

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Paul, I agree with your points. They seem to have eluded the majority of the respondents here. Whether Huawei is innocent or guilty is only part of the question. The more worrisome aspect is the casual brush-off our government officials have given the issue. They seem to have some head in sand attitude that we are too small to be relevant and that internet security can be dealt with simply by changing the password when your desktop prompts you to do so.

If I was Australia or the US I certainly wouldn't let anything more classified than last weeks Jamie Oliver recipe pass to the New Zealand government.

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Wow, there are a lot of nutter's in this comment thread.

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A New Zealand government lets down regional security yet again.

There is no such thing as a good deal in trade with the likes of China, only consequences.

Preserve democracy - don't buy Chinese made goods.

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My friends, we must cease pointless name calling and baseless attacks upon the author and instead enter into a proper intellectual discussion free from anti-British hate rhetoric.
>Also I am in agreement that their is no such thing as good trade when it comes to china. I know several people whom won't sell produce to china for fears that they will pirate it and export it back here. And when it happens the governments of the world turn a blind eye because building china has been the number one goal of the European nations since ww2.... It is time that this communistic one sided trading with china ended! It makes no sense to export technology to competitors or to reduce living standards to their levels to remain competitive.

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You need to go back to school and relearn your history, Jacob, me Jewish friend.

Otherwise, you were thinking of rewriting history?

In any case, Apple has no problems with all of its iPads, iPhones etc made in China. Wonder why?

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The greatest teleco related spy scandal of our time involved the CIA and a European vendor

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_wiretapping_case_2004–2005

http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2006/06/greek_wiretappi_1.html

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Vodafone NZ is a Chinese intelligent?? Vodafone uses Huawei for both 3G mobile and broadband network

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This is really a sad and shameful article and much of the commentary. I for one apologise to China on behalf of the rest of NZ.

1: It's computer kit. Like any product purchase of this size, the equipment will be looked at pretty hard and subject to certain performance metrics. We can also be sure it will be analysed to make sure there is nothing strange there, and we can be dang sure Huawei kit has already had the nth degree by many purchasers, and we have heard no actual issues with it emerge.

2: It's computer kit connected to the internet. If you want to get data out to, say, China, then you'll need to send it there and we'd see the traffic. It's as if your Apple computer was continuously streaming HD video from the camera whenever your computer is on - you'd notice it pretty quickly in your internet bill.

3: Alternatively to actually packet inspect, decide what to copy and send a smaller amount of data to somewhere else requires really expensive and large kit that would slow the routing down, which would be noticed in performance metrics.

4: China is a country, Huawei is a firm. Deal with it. USA is a country, Microsoft and Google are firms. Deal with it.

5: Many Chinese companies are really really good at making high quality products for really low prices. They are disrupting industries from earth moving machinery to cell phones. Why would telco kit be any different?

6: We have a free trade agreement with China, giving us access to over 1 billion people. That's pretty awesome.
We don't have a free trade Agreement with the USA. Deal with it.

7: I'm pretty sure NZ officials and minsters know about Huawei. At the very least they read the AFR and the NBR. Vodafone are also pretty well informed, and use their kit.

8: We should already assume that anything that goes on to a computer can and often will be copied. Deal with it by simply being better and faster, honest and consistent. That's very Kiwi, and it's also how anyone under 30 understands the internet works.

9: There is a strong incentive from other countries to knock Huawei, as Huawei is out-competing their own companies in certain market segments. It's Japanese cars versus American or UK ones all over again, or NZ apples versus Australian apples for that matter. Like the car industry some will respond by competing back, others will cry out to their government for help.

10: and a word to NBR on this shonky piece. Find someone to put the other side of the case. Why not actually call Huawei, or speak to someone else in the industry who uses their kit - like Vodafone. Next time consider getting an oped from Buchanan rather than having a journo sign their name. Shonky journalism might drive traffic, but it drives your own integrity into the toilet.

[NBR did talk to Huawei Australia and NZ staff - see "Huawei blocked from Australia National Broadband Network, still good for NZ", linked to in the article above.

Mr Wiggs - as a consultant to Pacific Fibre, may also find it interesting to read "NZ's Pacific Fibre jabs at Huawei", also linked to in the article above - Editor]

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Well written, Mr WIGGS and perhaps you should be writing for NBR...

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Excellent article link. Mature approach to the issue. Thanks.

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funny how i cite Endace as the real spy threat and it gets removed....

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Dr Buchanan deserves to be heard and his views published.

China could present a future security threat and the issue is serious enough that it deserves proper scrutiny.

This is what a democracy is about and it is most heartening that it is mostly the issues which are being debated, rather than the persons.

Well done, posters and NBR. And well done, Dr Buchanan.

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How do we know that Alcatel hasn't planted some French stuff on the networks we already have?

We wouldn't - if 'secret agencies' are doing such stuff and there is 'proof', then there is no need for a ban - the detected cases can be pursued for remedy. It is fear of what we can't know and can't detect that is driving this stuff. In reality, if we are so concerned abput this stuff, then we should ban the internet altogether (or in respect of top secret stuff, have a parallel network for secure communications - which there must already be - how on earth would it be logical to rock up to the Waihopai satellite stattion with the Crown Fibre network!!!!).

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The reality is that the 'secret information' that matters most is not government or military data but commercial data - that is why the Aus government has concerns about the public internet infrastructure (and not the military one, on which the ' state secret' data must travel)

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I 've got a Huawei smart phone with G.P.S, connected to the 2 degrees network which of course has Huawei equipment. I now suspect Chinese intelligence could be be tracking and listing to my conversations (mostly my wife asking to be picked up from shopping) Thanks to Dr Buchanan I will be on the outlook for any dark Geely MK Hatch parked outside my house, and take my business away from 2 degrees, and return the smart phone back to my father-in -law, who I now suspect is part of Chinese intelligence .

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'emigrating', not 'immigrating'

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I would be happy to let China have my secrets in return for internet that worked!. As its stands if they want to glean any info they have to steal my snail mail the internet is so bad!

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Even if its true, which as others have said is doubtful, given our importance in the military side of things, to get cheaper broad band its well worth it. Ask them to knock another 10% off and sign up!!

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I worry about NZ security capacity. Look at how easy it was to place a bag on a table where the PM was having a cup of tea.
Look at the ninja turtles episode with KimDotCom.
The bee-hive, full of old Helengrad friends who have access to the central mailing and computer system for all of parliament.
We have no defence force of any substance, very limited naval capability and certainly no air force or missiles.
If we don't take notice of other friendly nations security advice , then we are increasing our risks.

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There are other issues apart from information privacy, such as ensuring messages reach the intended recipient uncorrupted. For example it would be possible Huawei or any other manufacturer to produce communications hardware that could be remotely shut down by them. (Of course, I am not saying that they have or would). If NZ lost its internal communications in a time of strife, it would be an unmitigated disaster for us.
P.S. It is cowardly and unreasonable to make abusive comments and hide behind a pseudonym.

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It would be naive to think that the Chinese are not interested in leveraging their telco provider position because there is no ready evidence at hand to prove it. What we have here is a good old trade war in that Huawei, hand in glove with the Chinese Government want to dominate the world of telecommunications and high tech.

In Asia there is plenty of evidence to link Huawei, ZTE and others to dodgy practices in all their dealings in the telco space and Australia are right to be careful. They know that eventually there will be problems if you leave the door open.

Recent history in other industries has shown the Chinese are ruthless at stealing IP and re-exporting it. (Ssangyong and SAIC to name but one) and the Chinese Govt are fine with it.

As for NZ buying cheap Huawei kit, well, we can't afford to be choosy......we need then more than they need us. Caveat Emptor.

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Key's casual brush off of the concerns being expressed by our closest allies is annoying. Does he know something they don't - I doubt it. His ego seems to have got the best of him. I wish he would would just say "in the light of these concerns we will have another look"

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This guy is spot on. Key has got to distance himself from the Chinese ... and the USA. He is too much the globalist and not enough KIWI for our liking.

Did nobody else notice that Chinese PRA Surveillance ship at the bottom of Queen St. on election day?

What was that all about?

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My word, what a lot of bias misinformation our resident "expert" Dr Buchanan is feeding us.

I have seen senate papers on Huawei, the US concern is two fold, Security but more importantly protectionism of their own telecoms companies - which cannot compete on the same cost basis as Huawei and whose technology is not comparable.

US pressure on Australia has resulted in this decision - particularly as they are establishing a military base in Darwin

Interesting that Level 3 (and others) a US global telecoms company that recently acquired Global Crossing and has US govt traffic on their network, uses Huawei equipment as does all the top telecoms companies in the world.

"professional intelligence agencies do not deal in prejudice, they deal in facts" Ha, have we forgotten the WMD "facts" in Iraq.

"NZ is particularly vulnerable to cyber attacks"? How so more than any other country? because a ministers emails got hacked?

I have worked with Huawei, visited their facilities in China and elsewhere, met their very senior people. Yes its subsidised to a certain extent, but it is also a professionally run global organisation.

We have seen these scare excuses before, in India and UAE with Blackberry, ZTE and others. those issues were about source code - which as I recall Huawei/ZTE looked at placing into escrow. Not good enough apparently. Protectionism?

The equipment delivered is run and controlled by the local operators. One can do due diligence on that equipment , search for spyware, etc.. To filter emails and other information, one assumes one needs other additional equipment.

Does one not notice that?

Can Dr Buchanan actually tell us how this information actually gets into Chinese hands?

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More """Reds under the bed""" stuff
Buchanan, get a LIFE

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Huawei has a track record of cyber-espionage having admitted in a US court to stealing router IOS code from Cisco back in 2003 and copying it into their own products. You can google the story. Cisco insider's will tell you they traced emails showing the leak came from a couple of their engineers who had been bribed. That's the culture of Huawei. And its not the only time they have been caught. So the Australian's are right to be wary.

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What a rubbish! Everything that has to do with China seems to be made suspicious. From farms to broadband. What about the US influence here? The USA does globally much more damage than the Chinese.
I suspect that the lambs we export to China also have little spycams in them ?

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Oh yes the American hating Sino-Trolls are all back in force. You must have been up all night in Beijing trying to figure out how to fix this one. Sprung Fu Man Chu, the Aussies are on to you and the Americans have seen it all before. China doesn't respect freedom of the internet its own country so it should never be trusted with the internet infrastructure for others. Imagine trying to be a journalist in China using the internet to report the truth about TIbet or anywhere else. Check out Reporters Without Borders to see the latest disgusting antics of the Chinese against journalists who use the internet rsf(dot)org. No doubt that website is banned in China helped out by Huawei cables.

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I live in HK, married to a local. Even here the locals don't trust anyone over the border. NZ pollies are wet behind the ears.

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while we're all at it, I'll add my $0.02 worth into the mix.

echelon

There the yanks have been at it for years, who knows how many back doors there are in Cisco, Alcatel and other equipment vendors gear that is being exploited by foreign intelligence agencies?

Huawei have outbid out engineered and outsold Alcatel, Cisco and nearly every other network equipment vendor for years... so methinks there are a lot of vested interests involved and it'd be pretty interesting to see just where the money trail leads in Australia.... and who the parties are that did all the lobbying... I suspect that Aussie policy makers have been played like a violin

The whole situation smacks of corruption, hypocrisy and bigotry which makes sense give what a bunch of racist ignoramuses the Australians can be

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Hang on, I find all these fuzzies quite funny. That makes me realise the Aussies are quite happy and cosy being spied by US and all other western countries, but China, is it true?

BTW, if you keep your eyes on deeper, all successful foreign companies in China have to have "cosy relationship" with local government because of the different social system, otherwise you are a dead sheep. Believe or not.

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Mary Wilson did an excellent interview regarding the damage the Peoples "Liberation" Army is doing around the world using companies including Huawei. Huawei is just a front for the Chinese government to attack the infrastructure of countries like New Zealand. Listen to what our national broadcaster had to say here http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/ckpt/ckpt-20120330-1736-high_powered_us_com...

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I wish all the Chinese students studying in NZ because they were too dumb to get into schools in the USA or Australia would stop blogging their racist cr@p in here

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Allegations of a Chinese spy risk are justified in light of the recent discussion of Huawei's bid to build our telecommunications infrastructure. However, I am disappointed that few New Zealanders have not entertained the other side of the argument, that our fears maybe exaggerated. The Huawei debate might open a bigger can of worms too. As much as this is a question regarding our security, it also opens up a broader “Sinophobic” debate. Given the temporal proximity to the Crafar debacle, public criticism of China may only undermine Sino-New Zealand relations.

The onus is on Huawei to prove that they are sufficiently independent from Beijing. But to absolutely exclude them from doing business here is overkill. We should give Huawei a chance and take our stand as a nation with an independent foreign policy, as opposed to simply kowtowing to Canberra and Washington. Diplomacy in the Asia Pacific does not have to boil down to a simple zero-sum choice between America or China. We may have sided with the United States this time. But we should remember that the intelligence services who have actually compromised our national security in the past weren't Chinese but were French and American.

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The hypocrisy and double standards is killing me!

GPS, for instance, a US service that is intricately linked with the US military, helping the US deliver smart weapons in virtually all conflicts since the 1990s. And the US could use GPS to target our interests, locate our key infrastructure, and even switch off the service, compromising our essential navigation and services. In spite of the security risks and ethical issues, do Kiwis still use GPS? Yes.

Huawei should be given the benefit of the doubt. The onus should and will be on them to overcome any hurdles. And if we don't want them, that's fine. But that's what the tendering/bidding process is for. We can say no to Huawei and other Chinese firms through an informed and transparent bidding process where we make it clear that national security and ethics are factors that will come into play when considering bids. We don't need to whip this up into a media frenzy that borderlines on Sinophobia and the Yellow Peril thesis to say "no" to Huawei.

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Excellent analysis by Doctor Buchanan.

It's time for some geo-political realpolitik.

As Nathan Sharansky has described in ;
Defending Indenyity : Its Indispensable Role in Protecting Democracy .

" Multiculturalism has allowed the poltically radical to use those identities which they deem "progressive" and " anti-colonial " to destroy the majority culture which they view as " reactionary " and " colonial " .
To defend national values is taboo , if not regarded as outright " extremism " .

Some of the posters on this thread would happily see us compromised or worse.

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That should of course have read 'identity'. Apologies.

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In reply to: Bo Jangles | Thursday, March 29, 2012 - 3:56pm

Interestingly Buchanan worked for the Clinton Democrat administration and not the Republicans. Buchanan provides unbiased geo-political perspective.

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