In a recent interview with the Australian Financial Review, former Director of the US National Security Agency (NSA), General Michael Hayden, has noted that Huawei represents a national security threat to both the United States and Australia.
Hayden strongly believes that Huawei has helped China spy on its adversaries.
“Yes, I have no reason to question the belief that’s the case. That’s my professional judgment. But as the former director of the NSA, I cannot comment on specific instances of espionage or any operational matters,” he told AFR.
“At a minimum, Huawei would have shared with the Chinese state intimate and extensive knowledge of the foreign telecommunications systems it is involved with. I think that goes without saying. That’s one reality,” he added.
In response to Hayden’s allegations, Huawei Australia's spokesman, Luke Coleman, has told ABC that the accusations are “ridiculous.”
“People have been saying these things for a long time but for years and years we've never seen any evidence and nothing’s changed on that front so from Huawei's perspective we're saying it's time to put up or shut up,” Coleman noted.
“If the evidence is out there people have a right to see it, our staff have a right to see it and so far no one seems to have come in with that evidence.”
Coleman believes that the former NSA director has no credibility, especially since he’s on the boards of Motorola and Cisco, two of Huawei’s main competitors.
“We've seen this in the past, clearly there are bigger geopolitical issues going on right now between America and China and unfortunately Huawei tends to be a bit of a piggy in the middle here,” he said.
Earlier this week, the UK government announced that it would review Huawei’s Cyber Security Center. The decision comes after a report released by Parliament in which the Chinese telecoms giant is named a potential threat to national security.