The Corner

National Security & Defense

Did Huawei’s Chairman Just Admit that Huawei Spies?

According to Reuters, Huawei’s chairman offered to make no-spy agreements with Western governments to be allowed to participate in building 5G networks. Is the offer an implicit acknowledgment that Huawei does indeed spy on its customers, or that it has the capability to? Part of the offer was to make Huawei’s equipment meet the no-spy, no backdoor standard demanded by the West, according to the report. Again, if Huawei’s equipment already met those standards then there would be no need to pledge to change current practices. As the U.K.’s Cyber Security Centre concluded in March, Huawei’s equipment is rife with security risks, and despite promises of millions of dollars in systems upgrades, the company had failed to significantly close the gaps.

If Huawei’s repeated denials of espionage activity are changing the attitude among potential government customers (and some, like Germany, seem appeased, while the U.K. sits on the fence), then why make the no-spy pledge? It may make political sense, but it certainly doesn’t make logical sense. If you don’t already spy, or don’t have the capability of doing so, then the pledge is meaningless; if you do spy, then nothing you promise will be believable, given the obviously hidden nature of the activity. If anything, the chairman’s offer may wind up convincing Westerners of the risk of letting Huawei into national 5G networks, something the Trump administration has been only partially successful at doing.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Making Sense of the Iran Chaos

One would prefer that correct decisions be made according to careful, deliberate plan. But a correct decision made impulsively, through a troubling process, is still nonetheless correct, and so it is with Donald Trump’s decision to refrain from military action against Iran. The proposed strike would represent a ... Read More
Elections

Joe and the Segs

Joe Biden has stepped in it, good and deep. Biden, if he has any hope of ever being elected president, will be dependent on residual goodwill among African Americans from his time as Barack Obama’s loyal and deferential vice president — so deferential, in fact, that he stood aside for Herself in 2016 even ... Read More
Politics & Policy

New Deal . . . Conservatives?

I am second to none in my admiration for William F. Buckley Jr., but on matters of electoral politics his judgment was not exactly infallible. For example, he floated the idea of having former president Dwight Eisenhower join Barry Goldwater’s ticket as the vice-presidential nominee, which was possibly ... Read More
Education

College Leaders Should Learn from Oberlin

Thanks to their social-justice warrior mindset, the leaders of Oberlin College have caused an Ohio jury to hit it with $44 million in compensatory and punitive damages in a case where the school couldn't resist the urge to side with its “woke” students against a local business. College leaders should learn ... Read More