The Strategist

Huawei suspected of helping African secret services spy on opposition

08/15/2019 - 10:01

The Chinese concern Huawei is cooperating with the governments of Uganda and Zambia to help them persecute their political opponents, writes The Wall Street Journal.

Kārlis Dambrāns
Kārlis Dambrāns
According to the American newspaper The Wall Street Journal, the Chinese company Huawei supported governments of several African countries, in particular, Uganda and Zambia, in surveillance of their political opponents. One of the largest telecommunications concerns in the world provided equipment that African authorities used for digital surveillance and censorship, the newspaper wrote, referring to African intelligence agencies working with representatives of Huawei.

In addition, in at least two cases, employees of a Chinese company personally helped African authorities spy on political opponents. There were interception of encrypted messages and information on social networks, as well as tracking location using these phones.

In 2018, Ugandan special services with the help of Huawei employees tried to access encrypted correspondence of the musician and deputy Robert Kyagulanyi, known as Boby Vine, the newspaper notes. After that, the oppositionist and several of his employees were detained. In addition, plans to hold protests were disrupted.

However, there is no evidence that Huawei is helping African government spy on Beijing. Nothing special was revealed in Huawei technologies that would make such actions possible. In turn, representatives of the Chinese company denied the allegations.

Huawei has repeatedly denied Washington's allegations of hacking and espionage in the interests of the Chinese authorities. The company is accused, in particular, of technology theft, espionage and the sale of American components to Iran, despite the sanctions against this country.

A few days ago, the US Federal Register banned government departments and US companies from acquiring equipment from Huawei and several other Chinese companies. Earlier, the US Department of Commerce put Huawei on the black list due to a threat to national security. These actions of the American authorities led to the fact that many IT companies stopped cooperation with the Chinese concern.