BEIJING: Chinese telecom and internet company Huawei defended is independence on Sunday and said it would condemn any infiltration of its servers by the U.S. National Security Agency if reports of such activities by the NSA were true.
The New York Times and German magazine Der Spiegel reported this weekend, citing documents leaked by former U.S. security contractor Edward Snowden, that the NSA had obtained sensitive data and monitored Huawei executives’ communications.
The New York Times said one goal of the NSA operation, code-named “Shotgiant”, was to uncover any connections between Huawei and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. But it also sought to exploit Huawei’s technology and conduct surveillance through computer and telephone networks Huawei sold to other nations.
If ordered by the U.S. president, the NSA also planned to unleash offensive cyber operations, the newspaper said.
Der Spiegel said the NSA copied a list of more than 1,400 clients and internal training documents for engineers. It said the agency was pursuing a digital offensive against the Chinese political leadership, naming former prime minister Hu Jintao and the Chinese trade and foreign ministries as targets.
U.S. officials deny the NSA spies on foreign companies to give U.S. firms a competitive edge, though they acknowledge that in the course of assessing the economic prospects or stability of other countries, U.S. agencies might collect data on firms.