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US company accuses Huawei of installing ‘backdoors’ in Pakistani government software

Recently, an American tech company sued Huawei for theft of trade secrets and accused Huawei of pressuring it to install “back doors” in Pakistani government software, in order to obtain sensitive information from it this country.

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The Wall Street Journal reported on August 14 that American software company BES (Business Efficiency Solutions LLC), filed a complaint with the US District Court in Santa Ana, California on August 11, accusing Huawei of demanding asked it to set up a system in China that would allow Huawei to access sensitive information about Pakistan’s national security and the personal data of its citizens.

Pakistan’s Ministry of Security said it had opened an investigation into the matter.

According to British technology news outlet The Register reported on August 13, the company BES indicated in the lawsuit that the company began working with Huawei in 2016 to overhaul the IT systems available to the Command. Integrated Punjab Police, Communication and Control Center (PPIC3) of Lahore, the capital of Pakistan’s Punjab province. The legal filing claims, Huawei used the BES Data Exchange System “to create a backdoor to obtain critical national security data in Pakistan and monitor Pakistani citizens.”

Among the litigation evidence is an email dated March 28, 2017 from BES founder and CEO Javed Nawaz, demanding that Huawei obtain written approval from the Punjab police (PPIC3) that it agrees stores data in China, and BES staff will wait for instructions before updating the data exchange system of the Chinese server.

In a reply received the next day, Huawei said that “approval is not necessary”. The complaint indicates that Huawei later said it had received approval from the Government of Pakistan, but provided no documentation on that.

“Huawei threatened that if BES did not install a ‘backdoor’ in China, it would terminate the contract and stop paying the debts,” the lawsuit said. “In light of Huawei’s affirmative claims that it has been approved by the Government of Pakistan, a duplicate DES system has been installed in China.”

The lawsuit states that the original purpose of the PPIC3 project was to further modernize the technology available to the local police. Companies such as Motorola and Nokia also participated in the project bidding process.

Huawei was judged to lack the technical ability to bid, but at that time Huawei and BES reached a cooperation agreement – ​​Huawei subcontracted the system development work to BES. The involvement of BES plays a big role in why Huawei was able to acquire this $150 million development project.

The BES also accused Huawei of stealing trade secrets: “After Huawei obtained BES’ valuable trade secrets and other intellectual property rights, Huawei used BES’ technology knowledge to began secretly procuring certain parts of the BES software system from other sources – including from vendors BES identified for Huawei,” the lawsuit states.

Over the years, Huawei’s installation of “backdoors” on its equipment and stealing trade secrets has been a matter of concern.

The US Wall Street Journal reported in February 2020 that the US had evidence that Huawei had kept a “backdoor” in its telecommunications equipment since the 4G era in 2009, but the companies The telecom that buys Huawei equipment doesn’t know anything about it.

Currently, many countries around the world are dismantling Huawei equipment, including the United States, Australia, United Kingdom, Canada, France, etc.

The United States approved a $1.9 billion subsidy program in mid-July to help U.S. telecommunications companies dismantle equipment from Chinese companies such as Huawei and ZTE, which are seen as a threat. threaten the national security of the United States.

In addition, in response to the theft of trade secrets by Huawei and the Chinese Communist Party Army, the US Government has begun to restrict US and foreign companies from using the technology. and US equipment supplied chips to Huawei on September 15, 2020.

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