Huawei Technologies Co. would deny any Chinese government request to open up “back doors” in foreign telecommunications networks because they aren’t legally obliged to do so, the company’s chairman says.
Liang Hua, speaking to reporters in Toronto on Thursday, said the company had received an independent legal opinion about its obligations under Chinese law and said there is nothing forcing companies to create what he called “back doors” in networks. He said they’d never received any such request, but would refuse it if they did.
At this point, it seems silly to assume such backdoors do not already exist in one form or another – if not at the device level, then at the network level. This isn’t merely a Chinese thing either; western governments are doing the same thing, draped in a democratic, legal veneer through secret FISA-like courts and similar constructions.
That’s just it. Leaks have have shown our own governments (and our corporations) to be liars, so it’s very hard not to automatically be skeptical of everything they say regardless of if it’s the truth. They have no credibility. We need provable security, which is technically not so far fetched with sound cryptography, but oftentimes consumers don’t get the full benefit that cryptography offers simply because it’s not in corporate interests to secure our data from their prying eyes. Instead of true security they promote technologies whereby the security of our data is based on trusting them, which for various reasons is inherently flawed. Since their financial incentives align more with advertisers than with consumer interests, I don’t see this getting fixed 🙁
If the “independent legal opinion” is the same one both Huawei and the party-state have referenced on other occasions (the article doesn’t clarify), it’s of course complete tosh.
“the latest weapon in the PR offensive is a recycled document, signed by a CCP member, presented as a “legal opinion” by a Western law firm, contradicting the firm’s own explicit disclaimer.
The “legal assurance” disputes the conclusion that PRC citizens are legally bound to assist in intelligence operations. It comes in the form of a legal document issued in the name of the British law firm Clifford Chance (not available online; in fact, marked as “confidential,” despite its rather wide distribution). Huawei has been touting this document as the final proof of its innocence.
“The document is in fact a recycled eight-month old piece of legal advice written by two Chinese lawyers. Although, as seen below, this material has already received some public discussion, its newest distribution is portrayed as endorsed by a review from Clifford Chance, a law firm member of the China Chamber of Commerce in the UK (CCCUK, 英国中国商会) with extensive operations in China (which, as the Clifford Chance website puts it, “is emerging as the champion of globalisation and trade”), notably advising state-owned companies and a Huawei supplier. While Huawei PR materials authored by its top executive in Poland refer to advice including the Clifford Chance review as “independent legal opinions,” the review itself, seen by Sinopsis, contains an explicit disclaimer that the material “should not be construed as constituting a legal opinion on the application of PRC law.” ”
“The credibility of Huawei’s Beijing counsel as independent advice is arguably commensurate to that of the MFA “clarification.” The opinion, from May 2018, was prepared by Zhong Lun Law Firm (中伦律师事务所), a well-known legal practice whose founding and managing partner and deputy Party secretary Zhang Xuebing (张学兵), has also brought his qualities as an “outstanding Party member” to his positions at the All-China Youth Federation (ACYF, 中华全国青年联合会), a United Front organization led by the CCP Youth League. The opinion for Huawei was coauthored by a CCP member, Chen Jihong (陈际红).”