Lawmakers ready report on Huawei, ZTE spying claims

The House Intelligence Committee will release a report Monday, following its probe into espionage charges against the two telecommunications-gear makers. Also, "60 Minutes" will air its investigation into the company on Sunday.

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The House Intelligence Committee investigating national security threats posed by two Chinese telecommunications-gear makers is set to release a report Monday that seems likely to ratchet up pressure.

The committee held a three-hour hearing last month, during which lawmakers repeatedly criticized Huawei and ZTE for being vague in answering questions about whether their networking equipment could be used to snoop on American companies and individuals. At the end of the hearing, committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) expressed some consternation that the companies hadn't been more forthcoming in addressing his concerns.

"I can say that I am a little disappointed today," Rogers said. "I was hoping for a little more transparency.... Other inconsistencies worry me greatly."

CNET visited Huawei's Chinese headquarters in Shenzhen and a research facility in Shanghai this summer to report on the concerns among lawmakers and the company's response.

The committee's report, due at 1 p.m. PT Monday, will likely include suggestions for policy makers and the private sector for next steps. Rogers may shed some light on those suggestions in a "60 Minutes" report on the company that will air Sunday night. (CNET, like "60 Minutes," is owned by CBS.) In a preview for that piece, Rogers warns companies away from using Huawei's gear.

"If I were an American company today...and you are looking at Huawei, I would find another vendor if you care about your intellectual property, if you care about your consumers' privacy, and you care about the national security of the United States of America," Rep. Rogers told 60 Minutes.

Here is the complete broadcast of the "60 Minutes" piece:

Both Huawei and ZTE have refuted the allegations that they are spying or ever would.

"We have never, nor will we ever, harm the networks of our customers," Huawei Senior Vice President Charles Ding told committee members at last month's hearing. "This would be corporate suicide."

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Mobile
Huawei
About the author

Jay Greene, a CNET senior writer, works from Seattle and focuses on investigations and analysis. He's a former Seattle bureau chief for BusinessWeek and author of the book "Design Is How It Works: How the Smartest Companies Turn Products into Icons" (Penguin/Portfolio).

 

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