China’s Huawei has reportedly been under watch by the NSA. The company, having pulled out of the US for fear of being scapegoated for spying themselves, has reportedly been on the NSA radar for years. As you might expect, they’re not pleased.

The NSA is now accused of creating a back door into Huawei servers to monitor their activity. Oddly enough, that was the same reason given by the government for Huawei having been labelled a security risk. NSA documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden show that the NSA hacked into Huawei’s servers at their Shenzen, China headquarters. The scope of the prying was to ascertain whether Huawei had any relationship with the People’s Liberation Army, a group consisting of over 2 million personnel.

“Many of our targets communicate over Huawei-produced products. We want to make sure that we know how to exploit these products [to] gain access to networks of interest” the document said. Officials say the NSA only hacks into foreign servers when there is aperceived national security threat. While that may be the case, no proof was found that Huawei was acting nefariously, or in any way aiding the PLA.

Though the operation, codenamed “Shotgiant”, never yielded any conclusive evidence to note Huawei (or ZTE, which was also under surveillance) was working with the PLA or any other group, there were still roadblocks put up. In a 2012 report given to the House Intelligence Committee, it was recommended that both companies be blocked from acquisitions or mergers here in the US, and “cannot be trusted to be free of foreign state influence.” A digital cold war, replete with modern McCarthyism.

Source: The New York Times