US government claims to have found evidence against Huawei via secret surveillance

US authorities used secret surveillance warrants to build its sanctions-busting case against Chinese telecoms giant Huawei.

Some of the evidence it has picked up will be used in court in a case that accuses Huawei of breaking international sanctions against Iran and committing bank fraud.

The evidence has been gathered via warrants obtained under the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), according to Reuters. FISA warrants require permission to be obtained via secret courts.

Speaking at a federal court hearing recent, assistant US attorney Alex Solomon explained that the information was "obtained or derived from electronic surveillance and physical search".

The news comes as the US government has urged its allies around the world to bar Huawei from public communications networks, claiming that the company's hardware poses a national security risk.

Huawei is also currently embroiled in a court case over allegations that it broke sanctions on Iran, defrauding banks including HSBC in the process, by lying about its connection with Iranian technology company Skycom Ltd.

Its chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, is one of the key suspects in the case. She was arrested by authorities in Canada last December on an international warrant, while the US has levied charges of Meng bank fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracies to commit bank and wire fraud against Wanzhou.

Her extradition case is yet to be heard.

Canada's Office of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness defended the decision to arrest Wanzhou, saying: "We are a country governed by the rule of law. Canada is conducting a fair, unbiased, and transparent legal proceeding with respect to the arrest of Ms. Meng Wanzhou."

But despite the pressure from the US government, Huawei denies these claims. In March, it submitted a not guilty plea to the 13-count indictment.

A week ago, Huawei president Guo Ping said: "The US government has a loser's attitude. It wants to smear Huawei because it cannot compete against Huawei."

He urged the government to "adjust its attitude".

Last month, Huawei filed suit against the US government claiming that its hardware ban is unconstitutional and that it has failed to present "any evidence" to back up its claims.

At the time, Guo Ping said: "US Congress has repeatedly failed to produce any evidence to support its restrictions on Huawei products. We are compelled to take this legal action as a proper and last resort."

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Further reading

"End-to-end integrity" of Huawei hardware questioned in UK government report

  • Security
  • 28 Mar 2019

Microsoft discovers security flaw in Huawei MateBook device manager driver

  • Security
  • 27 Mar 2019

Huawei can't be trusted for building 5G mobile networks, German Intelligence tells federal panel

  • Security
  • 14 Mar 2019

US asks Germany to ban Huawei or face restricted intelligence sharing

  • Hardware
  • 12 Mar 2019

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