Huawei Spied For China, Says Ex-CIA Director

Llowell Williams

Huawei has been accused of spying for the Chinese government by former Central Intelligence Agency chief Michael Hayden. Huawei is one of the largest communications technology companies out of Asia that builds and maintains networks.

Huawei has also begun to expand to consumer products, earlier this year announcing plans to enter the mobile phone market. Their first Windows 8 phone hit shelves back in May.

Ex-CIA head Michael Hayden says that according to his "professional judgment" the tech giant has held close ties to Beijing, CNN Money reports. If nothing else, Hayden says, Huawei gave "intimate and extensive knowledge of the foreign telecommunications systems" to officials in China.

This type of cooperation, Hayden believes, "goes without saying; it's one reality."

Though Hayden was once head of the CIA and at one point the National Security Agency, he says there is hard proof that has already been collected confirming his claims. His current position in the private sector prevents him from drawing on this evidence.

Hayden presently holds a position on the Motorola Solutions board. He also works with security firm Chertoff Group.

According to the BBC, Huawei was called out by US politicians last year. They claimed that the telecommunications giant had links to Chinese military and government and posed a security threat.

Part of these concerns are based in the fact that Huawei's founder, Ren Zhengfei, was a member of the People's Liberation Army with government ties.

Huawei has come out to publicly deny the claims. One spokesperson said the finger-pointing was not only "unsubstantiated" but "defamatory" as well. He added that these baseless claims are only a "sad distraction" from real security threats.

Huawei has been particularly successful in the United Kingdom. Following these claims, UK authorities announced they would begin an inspection of the company's practices.

Last year the US House Intelligence Committee put out a study claiming Huawei had a record of intellectual property violations, Iranian ties, and a pattern of "potentially illegal behavior."

[Image via Wikimedia Commons]