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16 Dec, 2018 15:40

German cyber watchdog says no evidence that Huawei spies

German cyber watchdog says no evidence that Huawei spies

Germany’s cyber security authority says claims that Huawei is spying on customers are not backed up by evidence and has urged caution before boycotting the Chinese telecommunications giant.

“For such serious decisions like a ban, you need proof,” head of Germany's Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) Arne Schoenbohm told Spiegel.

Huawei is accused of having ties to Chinese intelligence, and countries like the US, Australia and New Zealand have recently blocked it from being part of building their 5G internet networks.

Also on rt.com ‘National security risks’: New Zealand blocks use of Huawei equipment for 5G network

According to Der Spiegel, the US is pressuring other countries like Germany to do the same.

In March, Schoenbohm told telecommunications company Telekom there were “currently no reliable findings” to back up US security agencies’ warnings about Huawei. Germany's main mobile network operators, Vodafone, Telekom and Telefónica all use Huawei infrastructure technology.

BSI has examined Huawei products and visited its safety lab in Bonn, and Schoenbohm says there is no evidence that the firm uses its equipment to spy.

Also on rt.com Beijing warns against ‘bullying’ its citizens amid ongoing US-Huawei saga

Huawei also denies the accusation. “We've never been asked to install a backdoor for espionage anywhere, there's no law that forces us to do it, we never did it, and we never will,” a company spokesperson for said.

Huawei is the world’s second biggest maker of smartphones and intelligence agencies claim its presence in western markets poses a security threat.

Japan last week announced it was halting government purchases of Huawei network equipment, following talks with US intelligence.

Also on rt.com Japan may be taking sides with US in trade war against China, halts purchases of Huawei & ZTE tech

The UK is the only other Five Eyes country to continue to allow Huawei to work on its 5G infrastructure. Following a meeting between the National Cyber Security Centre and Huawei executives last week, the Chinese company agreed to make a number of technical improvements to avoid being banned.

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