back to article US lawmakers claim Huawei sold censor tech to Iran

US lawmakers are calling on the State Department to investigate whether or not Chinese tech firm Huawei has violated sanctions by supplying monitoring technology to Iran. Six lawmakers wrote a letter to the department just before Christmas, which has now been made public, citing an article in the Wall Street Journal in October …


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  1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge


    The US still isn't getting that it's not the center of the universe?

    1. Ru

      It works both ways

      If western businesses want to make money in China, they'd better be prepared to follow the local legal requirements and understand what 'kowtow' means. If Chinese businesses want to make money in the US... well, on the whole they can do that just fine. But they should expect to be reprimanded if they in turn do business with people the US disapproves of.

  2. Bumpy Cat

    How much influence?

    Given that this is a Chinese company selling to Iran, how much can the US Congress really affect the matter? Getting partially or fully shut out of the US market would hurt Huawei, but that seems to be happening anyway. What else can the US threaten Huawei with?

  3. Ru

    "Huawei has since responded to with a fact-based statement"

    Is that like "based on a true story"?

  4. Mondo the Magnificent

    The China Syndrome

    Oh, the Chinese don't give a hoot. They're Communists who embrace capitalism too.

    As the Chinese don't exactly have the best human rights record and are famous for keeping their own population in check at every level (Great Firewall of China) they're not overly bothered about supplying "restricted" technology to despot regimes.

    The bottom line is that if the sale took place, then it's already done and dusted. The technology is in place and there's not much anyone can do about it.

    Rest assured the U.S.A. aren't going to ever embargo their biggest trading partner, if they did institutions like Wal-Mart would be doomed!

    All they can do is deliver a terse statement to which the Chinese government will turn a deaf ear.


    Huawei have been battling to gain a foothold into the U.S. market as the hawks don't trust the technology. They tried with the "Huawei Symantec" [storage] partnership but the Huawei branded comms and storage kit wont be taking up residence in any U.S. government or financial data centres just yet or for the foreseeable future.

    Rest assured there are many countries that do buy this cheap as chips, but functional kit

  5. Robin Bradshaw

    Take that china

    Yeah China dont piss on one of the last income streams of the US, selling content filtering solutions to oppressive regimes is a US party and your not invited.

    Secure Computing's SmartFilter - Iran

    Bluecoat - Syria

    1. Robin Bradshaw

      Censoring the Tor network talk from the 28c3

      If you want more info on the state of play with content filtering you might find the talk "How governments have tried to block Tor" from this years Chaos Communications Congress there are plenty of name drops of the guilty party's, like in a round about way Intel being responsible for filtering the Tunisians governments internet, it well worth watching.

      Oh and if you have that damn Orange mobile Safeguard adult filter on your phone it appears it doesnt work on SSL connections, so just add that s and fill your phone with pron :)

  6. Michael H

    Oh the irony...

    Isn't it strange how these law makers:

    A) Have 'conveniently not noticed' that Juniper and Cisco (both American networking moguls) are providing similar products and services to pro-censorship regimes?

    B) Are currently trying to rush a bill through in their own country that instates such a regime?

    You can tell that American politicians are desparately trying to clutch on to their country's status as the economic leaders in the technology sector by the repeated bogus or hypocritical accusations they levy at Asian tech firms like Huawei, and every patent case in favour of the Silicon Valley software giants.

    1. kain preacher

      Michael H

      Iran is on the naughty list. So if an American company gets caught selling restricted items they get slapped.

      "and every patent case in favour of the Silicon Valley software giants."

      You do know it's usually American companies that get slapped for this .

    2. Yes Me Silver badge

      A, but not really B

      A) Indeed. The fact that Huawei is a serious commercial threat to Cisco in particular may be a hidden motivation for this attack.

      B) In fairness, many US hi-tech companies are arguing against that legislation, which is really aimed at protecting the copyright industry.

  7. Arctic fox

    Just taking a look a Huwei's response to the initial allegations.

    "We have never been involved in and do not provide any services relating to monitoring or filtering technologies and equipment anywhere in the world," Huawei said then."

    That is pretty explicit and if they are bullshitting it should be readily refutable. I've been googling this one a bit and I can't find anywhere that these six senators have said anything that in fact actually amounts to *evidence* contradicting what Huawei have said. Anyone else seen anything different?

    1. Vic

      > Anyone else seen anything different?

      Well, if it was in the WSJ, it *must* have been true.

      I mean, no Murdoch organ would *ever* say anything but the God's Honest, right?



      "Anyone else seen anything different?"


      Huawei and TalkTalk, involuntary mass communications surveillance and censorship in the UK.

      Or Huawei's partnership with Phorm, documented on the Reg.

  8. Trollslayer
    Thumb Down

    So only US companies are allowed to do this?

    1. Mondo the Magnificent


      Siemens was "slapped on the wrist" in 2011 for selling similar kit to the Syrians

      1. Michael H

        Siemens... also German, not American.


    "We have never been involved in and do not provide any services relating to

    monitoring or filtering technologies and equipment anywhere in the world"

    Apart from TalkTalk in the UK.


  10. BTCustomer
    Thumb Down

    Are Huawei telling porkies?

    "We have never been involved in and do not provide any services relating to monitoring or filtering technologies and equipment anywhere in the world," Huawei said

    is a bit difficult to reconcile with:

    "The system was provided by Chinese vendor Huawei and works by harvesting every URL visited by every TalkTalk customer. It then follows them to each web page and scans for threats, creating a master blacklist and a whitelist of dangerous and safe URLs."

    Or maybe the United Kingdom isn't on the Huawei exec's world map?

    Or he's just suffering from corporate short term memory loss?

  11. BTCustomer
    Thumb Down

    Never been involved in... more problems.

    What about SIG9800 ?

    "All-round network security guarantee

    By adopting multiple inspection technologies, such as DPI, signature matching, network rate and concurrent connection number anomaly statistics and analysis technologies, and searching protocol/system security vulnerability libraries and attack signature libraries updated in real time by globally distributed security threat estimation systems, the SIG9800 deeply analyzes network traffic at the application layer, and accurately identifies and blocks malicious traffic from DDoS attacks, worms, and botnets, thus protecting services and users against increasingly severe network attacks.

    Depending on the perfect URL classification base including more than 20 million URLs as well as the latest and more comprehensive spammer library of Huawei, the SIG9800 is capable of filtering out most damaging URLs and spammers, helping operators to depurate network environment, mitigate loss caused by spams, and launch value-added services. "


    (which I think does geolocation quite well)

    For the potential of CarrierIQ - check here

    The Red Hand(ed) Gang strikes again?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    mirror mirror on that wall

    In other news, American biz Apple invades China with sneak attack...

    we'll call this the "elbow"

    While Congress passes draconian monger-messages about Chinese tech sector

    we''ll call this one the "asshole"

    Take your pick - what works? Does america know one from the other?

  13. Spoddyhalfwit

    The US criticises Chinese company for selling monitoring tech to oppressive middle east regime,

    Meanwhile the US just approved the sale of $60bn of F15s and other peaceful kit to Saidi Arabia, a fellow peace loving bastion of freedom and democracy which recent sent it military into Bahrain to help brutally errr protect the erm cause of errr freedom.

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