Nov 21, 2011

The U.S. House Intelligence Committee investigating Huawei and ZTE for security threats, is this a real concern or a political o

The House of Representatives in opening an investigation into Chinese telecom equipment suppliers ZTE and Huawei over concerns that the networking equipment could let the Chinese spy on and interfere with telecommunications in the U.S. of A. Are they really concerned, or is this a pre-election "Red Scare" type of investigation?

I doubt it will have any effect on the election since most voters have never heard of either company. Nor does it seem like something that would get much coverage in the mainstream press, so voters will probably never even be aware that it is happening.

Is it a good idea? Maybe. At the very least they can ask some questions and if it turns out to be nothing then I doubt it will do any harm. I suppose we'll have to wait and see what happens as their investigation happens.

It may simply turn out to be much ado about nothing. We'll see though.

I wonder if they are going to launch an investigation into pretty much every consumer electronic product, including all those smartphones that would run on the Chinese made telecom networking equipment?  There is so much that is manufactured in China that it seems a little late to be suddenly concerned that there are trojan horses buried deep within.  That is not to say that there isn't the possibility that there are nefarious things hidden in hardware, but can you imagine the backlash if a disguised mechanism for taking down US telecom systems was found?  It would be a huge risk for the Chinese to take.   


At the same time, there have been reports that Chinese hackers took control of US satellites on two recent occassions, with at least one of the times resulting in the hacker having total control over it, but doing nothing.  


I'm always skeptical of any investigation coming out of a House committee.  Those people are in a constant election cycle, and if there is an opportunity to gain some press time and look tough on something while wrapping themselves in the flag, they will do it.  Absent some evidence that Huawei has done something nefarious, this is just a fishing expedition, and I suspect the intended catch is media attention and sound bites for the upcoming election season. 

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