Former President Donald Trump came under fire for taking action against a major Chinese tech firm during his administration.
The move against Chinese firm Huawei threatened to cripple what had been a major global player.
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Trump was even accused of trying to start a trade war when he put Huawei onto a blacklist in 2019 after security officials concluded the company’s equipment could be used to spy on Americans.
But a shocking new report reveals exactly what his administration feared: This company — closely linked to the Chinese Communist Party — is being accused of using its equipment and technology to spy on a nation, its people and its government.
News reports out of Europe said Huawei had “unlimited access” to phone calls placed over the Dutch telecom network KPN in The Netherlands.
“Those open to constant surveillance included the prime minister, cabinet ministers, politicians, businesses, individuals and, of course, Chinese dissidents,” the TelecomTV website noted.
The company was even allegedly spying on the spies themselves: A report in Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant said Huawei knew which phone numbers had been tapped by the country’s intelligence agencies.
The report also alleges that some of the Huawei workers sent to install equipment may have been espionage agents.
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Some of the accusations go even higher: TelecomTV said the prime minister of the Netherlands may have been surveilled, according to the 2010 report that was completed, but so explosive that it was hidden from the public.
Huawei denies the allegations, and on the flip side TelecomTV said KPN issued an “an incredibly lame statement” that doesn’t exactly deny the allegations. Instead, the statement said only that the spy activities have “never been established” and that the company would have informed authorities had it known.
However, a second Dutch report noted by TelecomTV not only confirmed that it happened, but said Huawei continues to have at least some access to the KPN system even now.
The allegations match the U.S. warnings about the company, which was founded by a People’s Liberation Army officer in 1987 and continues to hold close ties to China’s communist leaders.
In 2018, FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before Congress that he was “deeply concerned” by the threat of having a company closely aligned with a foreign government embedded into our communications systems.
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“It provides the capacity to maliciously modify or steal information, and it provides the capacity to conduct undetected espionage,” he said.
That led to Trump’s decision to ban many activities by the company in the United States, and to convince British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to do the same.
Several other counties – including Australia, France and Sweden – have also restricted or banned Huawei.
Yet despite this consensus, and despite reports from the U.S. intelligence community, the media attacked Trump over the move.
“It’s clear that these maneuvers are designed to distract from pressing domestic issues and to hobble Chinese tech firms for the commercial benefit of U.S. competitors,” he wrote as he slammed Trump for “harmful isolationism.”
Now, however, Trump’s moves are looking very smart… and is one of the few areas where President Joe Biden is following his lead.
However, NPR notes that Biden is facing pressure from the U.S. tech industry to ease up, and appears more willing to listen – but may not change much as he does not want to appear soft on China.
The new report could ensure that he continues to stick to the Trump policy… for now.
— Walter W. Murray is a reporter for The Horn News. He is an outspoken conservative and a survival expert.