Huawei fires Chinese employee arrested in Poland on spying allegations [telecom]

Huawei fires Chinese employee arrested in Poland on spying allegations

The Chinese tech giant is facing widening international worries about possible spyware cooperation with Beijing.

BEIJING - Chinese technology giant Huawei has fired the Chinese employee arrested in Poland on suspicion of espionage, saying that he had brought the company "into disrepute." The man's arrest Friday comes amid mounting concerns across the world that Huawei, the world's largest maker of telecommunications equipment, might be acting on behalf of the Chinese government to spy on people and governments. Huawei denies the claims.

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***** Moderator's Note *****

I must, in conscience, remind readers that scare stories about the Big Red Menace were the bread and butter of the American TV networks for decades in the last century. However, stories about widespread thefts of software, proprietary information, and methodologies are easy to find amoung the technicians and engineers who have visited China.

This is, sad to say, nothing new: we cannot claim innocence or inexperience. I read a story back in the 1960's, about a firm which attended a trade show in Moscow, and posted a large diagram on the wall of their booth, showing the microwave network that the company wanted to sell to the former Soviet Union. They posed for lots of pictures, with the network diagram in the background, and then went home empty-handed after the soviets gave the contract to a competitor, using their design.

Any security expert will tell you that a computer monoculture - such as Microsoft Windows - is dangerous. If the accusations that Huawei is acting on behalf of the Chinese government are verified, then the security aspect becomes larger by at least an order of magnitude.

If it turns out to be true, blame can be easily assigned: we need only look in a mirror. Buying goods made in foreign countries has always been "cheaper" in the short term, but very costly in the long run. Setting up manufacturing facilities in overseas factories inevitably gives the governments of those nations a chance to acquire free technology and expertise that would otherwise take decades to develop "in house."

We did it to ourselves.

Bill Horne Moderator

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Monty Solomon
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