back to article Chinese spy scare sours Australia's plans for nationwide broadband

Possible involvement of the Chinese networking firm Huawei Technologies in building Australia's national broadband network has security agencies fearing red espionage. A report Tuesday by The Australian said the country's security officials plan to "closely examine" a frontrunner bid to build the network from Australia's …


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  1. Pierre

    Will it involve MS software?

    Behold US snooping plans!

  2. Anonymous Coward

    The obvious thing

    Is for Australia to build its own networking equipment. Ooops! Australia, due to policy decisions made log long ago, basically has no chip foundries. The only high-tech of any merit, outside of agriculture/life-sciences, is in software. Doh!

  3. Sandy Drew

    A pinch of salt

    We should remember that 'The Australian' is roughly equivalent to 'The Torigraph', except that it's journalistic standards probably aren't as high.

  4. David Rollinson

    re. The obvious thing

    or they could buy from "trustworthy" countries; I'm not sure about the top of that list but the bottom would be soemthing like


    North Korea


    United Kingdom

    United States of America

    Failing that, they could just get hold of a few copies of PGP....

  5. David

    It makes the Nordic communications companies seem ever more attractive!

    Given the politics and fixation on spying that all of the above have, it could be a new marketing tool for communications giants Nokia and Ericsson, given that they're both from countries perceived to be somewhat less paranoid and empire building.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    It all makes sense!

    Soon, we will have the Great Aussie Firewall (China-lite). So why not then get the Chinese to build the new broadband network as well?

    Two birds, one stone and all...

    You know it makes sense.

  7. Glen Turner

    Scare campaign by competitor

    This "Reds under the Bed" scare always comes out when Telstra is threatened by Optus. Apparently Telstra's actual outsourcing of its IT operations to India is fine, but Optus even considering buying Chinese kit is bad.

    Telstra's own network equipment is built in the former Soviet republics by a French company, so there's a throwing stones in the glasshouse aspect to all this.

    All the Australian carriers use 3G modems built in China, so is there is an espionage threat then we're already in real trouble.

  8. Austin Chamberlain

    @David, re: Nordic companies

    Don't be so sure about the worthiness of Nordic countries/companies - see the attempts by the Swedish security services to monitor ALL communications in/crossing Sweden, or Finland's anti-child-pron measures, which make the IWF look feeble and transparent.

    The control-und-surveillance madness, it has gone global.

  9. g00p
    IT Angle


    ..start printing posters of that picture so I can hang one up in work (I'm the network woman)


  10. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    What concerns me....

    is the recent story in the UK nationals about the fact that between China and Pakistan

    "mafia" (criminals) they managed to install a secret chip in the machines that read

    credit cards and each time the Cards were inserted the details of the card were

    sent automatically to a phone number in Pakiistan (the readers came from China).

    Now it is not out the question that (a) Chinese hard drives and telecom equipment could equally carry such roots kits or other things like the chips in those readers (b) that the Chinese govt

    condones and backs such infiltrations. Lets deal with facts (A) The Chinese have been

    caught a good number of times stealing information from companies ,and this looks like

    both criminal and government stealing. Take the matter at Los Alamos re the nuclear

    secrets for one (B) Look at these card reader I mentioned. THAT is a FACT and they

    came from China. Who knows how much else is containing trojans etc. (C) Look at record

    of China on products such a melamine in milk, lead in toys, dangerous toys etc etc

    etc etc etc etc.

    No sir, we shoul support our own industries in such vital things as communications

    and by British, US , Australian or whatever, but NOT Chinese .

  11. Lol Whibley

    in china..


  12. Pete Silver badge

    what could they possibly get?

    Let's have a think about China.

    - One of the three countries in the world with a manned space programme (possibly now one of two, since the yanks are stopping the scuttle)

    - One of the few nuclear armed powers, one of the 5 permanent members of the UN security council

    - One of the world's largest and fastest growing economies

    - More internet users than any other country [source:]

    I could go on, but it would get to sound like I was being paid by them.

    And the aussies are frightened that the chinese might be stealing their secrets to gain an advantage? Not wishing to put the australians down, but I doubt they have anything the chinese need - or don't already have by other means, such as from the 600,000+ chinese living in Oz.

  13. Master Baker
    Paris Hilton


    I found out yesterday that the S Bridge into Wales is actually owned by a French company. Imagine that. Each time I'm forced to drive into Wales I have to pay the French. Very strange state of affairs.

    And, due to government corruption the French will also soon be building our nuclear reactors too.

    Paris, because she too has foreign bodies within her infrastructure.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What difference would it make?

    After all, both Australia and the UK allow the USA to freely intercept and spy on all our businesses through the Echelon system. The thing that amazes me is that companies in our countries don't seem to realise this is going on and have apparently voiced no objection to this blatant large-scale commercial theft.

    Gee, have you guys in commerce ever wondered why you never have much luck bidding against US companies? Just ask Airbus Industries or Enercon or Lernout & Hauspie - they've all been done over by Echelon. You see the US NSA is required by law to pass on the business intelligence that it gathers to US companies in the same field.

    And our governments allow this to happen.

  15. Ramazan

    Chinese components

    IMHO nearly all of Ericsson, Nortel, Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia-Siemens equipment contains Chinese chips inside it. And even if carrier equipment is Chinese-free, there are still lots of supporting NSS/OSS/BSS/monitoring/fault-management systems around...

  16. kain preacher

    Bull shot/

    You see the US NSA is required by law to pass on the business intelligence that it gathers to US companies in the same field.

    Um show me this law

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IT spying

    Do not believe what the Chinese say. The facts are that every Chinese company and all foriegn companies that have permits to operate in China must first get a permit from the Commie party. The conditions of the permits are various but the only constant one is the nomination of a party official to be employed with the company at a high level of security with access to all info.There are no secrets. Mao Tse Tung did this. I worked with them in the 60s and 70s and nothing has changed. As the saying goes; All roads lead to Rome, but in this case all info . goes to the Commo party.

  18. Adrian Esdaile

    Why spy on Australia?

    To learn about cricket? - Ricky Ponting. Nope, that isn't it.

    To learn about beer? - Tsingtao. Fact - Australian 'beer' is made out of Chinese wee.

    To steal our technology? We are about to bring 50-year old railway carriages back into service becuase we have forgotten how to make ones that work. Nope.

    In short - yes, they COULD spy on us, but couldn't be arsed as we are rapidly becoming the world's newest 3rd-world country.

    At the moment, becoming a colony for New Zealand would be a vast improvement.

    Ah, just figured it out - to steal our firewall technology - it probably will be better than theirs.

  19. Secretgeek


    Can't believe no-one's said it first.

    Coat please.

    P.S. Yes I'm aware the origin is Japanese, but hey what'cha going to do?

  20. David Pollard

    Why don't they realise?

    If they've done nothing wrong they have nothing to fear.

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