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It's well known in the telecom/internet infrastructure business that Huawei:

a) bugged the hell out of Nortel's ottawa area offices, both physically, by rootkit, and by getting their own people hired to physically smuggle out documents and design data

b) Copied the entire DWDM / optical transport product line

c) Released a nearly identical product a few years later, and sold it at a ridiculously low price, effectively killing Nortel.

Many years later the vacant ex-Nortel office buildings came up for lease. One of the candidate tenants for that large of an office space were parts of the Canadian federal government, ministry of defence, etc. Every serious tenant passed on the space because it's so riddled with bugs.

https://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/the-my...

https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/dnd-may-abandon-1b-move-to-for...

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/department-of-...




>So what happened? Were listening devices found at the Nortel Campus or not?

The Department of National Defence keeps changing its story on that issue.

>But after the Citizen article was published, Julie Di Mambro, spokeswoman for then Conservative Defence Minister Rob Nicholson, noted in a statement that, “security officials have assured us that they have not discovered any bugs or listening devices.”

The first article seems to heavily imply that there is no definite conclusion to this matter.


Note that it is possible that for political or national security reasons they decided not to provide a public statement for the matter. I've seen a news story reporting similarly about espionage victims unwilling to go public on the matter due to lack of benefit on it, though I don't think I can find it now.


If they did hide that information (which is still a big if) then they exposed many Canadian businesses to potential risky relationships with Huawei.

If people just went public with this earlier we could have ended the "Huawei isn't hacking people and stealing their data" charade. Everyone get's to act so outraged publicly today but that Nortel case started in the early 2000s:

> An internal security study by Nortel suggested that hackers had also been able to download research and development studies and business plans as far back as 2000.

It's good enough for intel agencies to quietly warn the big businesses when it's seems 'necessary' which seems like the new modus operandi, at least in the US.


None of the provided links as much as mentions Huawei or provides anything but uncertainty that there were any bugging devices found at the Nortel offices.


You would have to be familiar with the technical details of DWDM platform system architecture, photonics, etc in order to grok a full explanation. The Huawei product released was identical. It was identical down to the ASICs on the individual linecards and other things that would have been impossible to reverse engineer in a "Clean room" environment. I know I'm not providing a citation here, but among the community of ISPs and backbone carriers that actually have a need for this sort of equipment, it's a known fact as solidly as "water is wet".

https://www.afr.com/technology/web/security/how-chinese-hack...

https://business.financialpost.com/technology/nortel-hacked-...

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/former-nortel-exec-warns-ag...


If it was patented, why didn't the company sue Huawei and ban import of the product?


Why is this downvoted? Industrial spying is punished in the west.


Political forces you don't fully understand prevented it.

A WTO case would have been easier.


> Political forces you don't fully understand

This is exactly as useful and trustworthy as saying "A wizard did it".


Can confirm this from another source. Old guy I met waiting for a flight in Vegas; he was on his way back from CES. Had run his own ISP a while back for a special purpose. Talked about this, Huawei's refusal to remove a back-door ("remote assistance and diagnosis feature" or some such malarkey), etc. They're not nice guys.


But Huawei is not different from other vendors here. For example: Windows has telemetry that cannot be disabled and sends data into American data centers, Apple has control over its phones around the world, can remotely block them and know their location, and who knows what else, Google tries to convince users from around the world to store all their data in an American cloud (not their own cloud, or a cloud in their country they can trust, but the cloud in US), and almost every Intel CPU has an additional CPU (ME engine) that has full control over the system, with encrypted firmware, and is not documented.

Yet I don't see any accusations against Microsoft, Apple, Android or Intel.


Maybe because I trust those organizations (and even the American government) more the China as much as I hate to admit it.

I don’t think you can really compare the companies.


I on the other hand, don't think China has the extrajudicial reach of the U.S. (yet?) & as an EU citizen I don't trust either the U.S., nor China, but I think my own government would not bow down to Chinese pressure, (i.e. to hand over info about me etc.), as they regularly do to American one, certainly not as easily.

I don't think Kim Dotcom would have a military style raid on his house in NZ done on behalf of the Chinese government.


I think he would. Look how the EU/NZ is not helping Taiwan - in order to not offend China. It is a shame.


> I don't think Kim Dotcom would have a military style raid on his house in NZ done on behalf of the Chinese government.

perhaps not, but in Thailand, yes.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/03/activist-li-xi...

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/05/hong-kong-acti...


Plenty of us would rather trust China than the US, mostly because China has less influence in our countries than the US does.


I really don't get this POV. If it was just about a random Chinese company, sure, whatever, but Huawei though is 99% likely passing to the Chinese state, which is a geo-political entity that has more than a passing resemblance to some Hitler/Mao/Stalin hybrid that is fairly terrifying.

It is rapidly scaling its military technology and reach, threatening neighbors over competing claims in the South China Sea, re-creating its own version of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere via the Belt and Road initiative and China 2025, interning its own citizens by the millions into re-education camps, forcing spying by its own citizens overseas by threatening family members, introducing a 'social credit' system to force not only self-censorship, but active promotion of its policies by its citizenry in order to not lose 'privileges' like taking the train.

I understand that the Trumpian version of the US is annoying in many ways, but the idea that we let China and Chinese companies dominated by it's government (they literally have to pay Party minders to keep them in line) have unconstrained access to its geopolitical foes infrastructure beggars belief.


The US have been the instigator in quite a number of wars of aggression, with devastating consequences for the countries targeted and the people living in them. They constantly threaten to start new attacks. Meanwhile China builds roads and bridges and trains and cheap electronics. Is it really that hard to see why one is preferred over the other?


Noting that you didn't actually rebut any point I made...


You “really don’t get this POV”, and ephemeralism expanded on the POV you don’t get. Not to mention quite a few points of yours are heavily pushed narratives by the Western media based on thin or exaggerated evidence, when Western media are clearly not neutral on Chinese matter. Funny how you mentioned China “threatening” neighbors, and ephemeralism pointed out that the U.S. has started numerous wars (and bankrolled more), with boots on the ground.


Because those companies have never released stolen material from offices they bugged.

Microsoft's telemetry data is like sending the teacher a note that you viewed the material. Huawei hides a camera in your home steals your homework and beats you out of that college placement with your own material.


Why doesn't Microsoft allow to disable it then? It is not like I asked for a teacher.


Because that's the product they are selling you decided to use it over an os that comes with the source code like Linux.

Microsoft hasn't added telemetry to linux through a backdoor.


And neither did Huawei.


There were some stories where Huawei's source code included the Nortel copyright at the top. Just 100% blatant.


Not doubting you but it would be great to link to one/several of those stories.

A quick google search turns up a CBC article from 2012 where a former Nortel exec alleges Huawei hacking, and also, amusingly, this HN story.


It's fair to say that, in 2019, Huawei scale money can buy you online reputation...including removal of any documented instances that might hurt its image. After all, Google was their partner for a good amount of time.


MSFT was a giant but was not able to hide the Halloween documents, I don't see why Huawei would succeed in that.


You're talking about a company whose majority ownership is some sort of murky "employee coop without voting rights."

The modern Chinese legal system isn't nearly as predicable as other jurisdictions.


well, but the chinese legal system is not the issue here, we're talking about silencing media reporting on a scandal of sorts, outside of china.


All external reporting begins with a seed, and that seed plays very different in a closed society without free speech protection.


can i see the code?


> Released a nearly identical product a few years later, and sold it at a ridiculously low price,

If it violates the patents, then why did the company not sue Huawei and get a compensation? If it doesn't violate the patents then what's the problem?



What's wrong with Matebook? It has the same color, a similar shape, and a similar keyboard as a Macbook? If Apple feels that it violates their patents, why don't they sue? US patent laws are pretty strict and this is the normal way to resolve such cases.

Also if you Google a bit, you can see that there are similar lawsuits against US companies. For example, a Korean company believes (and had win in courts in some countries) that Apple has stolen their intellectual property: [1]

Also it is noteworthy how some countries' courts agree that Apple has infringed the patents while other countries' courts disagree.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Inc._v._Samsung_Electron....


Yeah you can always be inspired by others. https://wx2.sinaimg.cn/large/9196f7a9gy1g08e99znw9j20u01s612...


Also I wanted to note that the image you linked to compares an iPhone's ads with Xiaomi's (if I am correct) and the image doesn't mention Huawei.


Interesting comparison. But Apple doesn't have clean hands too. Did they invent graphical UI of first Macintosh themselves or were "inspired" by what they have seen at Xerox PARC? Yesterday you copied the GUI, and today you claim that someone has stolen the idea of using rounded edges.


Apple paid Xerox Parc a lot to see things, not to mention xerox parc was heavily invested in pre IPO Apple.


>If it doesn't violate the patents then what's the problem?

Theft of trade secrets is a crime.


But, I mean, other than that, what do you have on them?


Funny, because the articles OP posted suggest they don’t even have that.


The article by the wsj seems to be more than sufficient.


Interesting - in silicon valley Huawei has a building just a short distance from both Intel and Nvidia's main headquarters.


They had an office next to Apple and Amazon and Seagate in Cupertino as well.


This could just mean they want to reinforce their brand by being next to the big guys. Doesn't mean they are spying even if that is a possibility.


They might also want to poach employees, being close to where they work already is a good way to do that.


Possibly true, but these are tactics any tech company could use. Not illegal. Snooping on competitor communications is a different story though.


> It's well known in the telecom/internet infrastructure business that Huawei:

> a) bugged the hell out of Nortel's ottawa area offices, both physically, by rootkit, and by getting their own people hired to physically smuggle out documents and design data

The links you provide do not mention Huawei.

> b) Copied the entire DWDM / optical transport product line

> c) Released a nearly identical product a few years later, and sold it at a ridiculously low price, effectively killing Nortel.

Why is this two bullet points? It's the same issue, no? The links you provide are not related to this issue. Could you provide proof or evidence of some kind to back up your claims?

> Many years later the vacant ex-Nortel office buildings came up for lease. One of the candidate tenants for that large of an office space were parts of the Canadian federal government, ministry of defence, etc. Every serious tenant passed on the space because it's so riddled with bugs.

bugged the hell out, riddled with bugs

« But after the Citizen article was published, Julie Di Mambro, spokeswoman for then Conservative Defence Minister Rob Nicholson, noted in a statement that, “security officials have assured us that they have not discovered any bugs or listening devices.” »

« Again, a DND official dismissed concerns that listening devices could be hidden in the sprawling complex, noting that none had ever been found. »

« Five days later in another statement to the Citizen – and contrary to what Norman had said earlier – the DND was once again claiming that no bugs, surveillance equipment or listening devices had ever been found. »

---

So to sum up … You have made two (though you made it look like three) claims of criminal activity by a specific Chinese company. You provide three links giving the appearance of supporting your claims. After following the links I discover that the links only address your first claim and direct quoutes from government officials counter the narrative of suspicions in the article. Not only that, the company your are making the claims against is not mentioned in any of the articles. When I Google huawei DWDM / optical transport product line to try to find proof or evidence for your second claim the only allegation I find is your post on HN. Your first claim makes three separate allegations: (1) bugged the hell out of Nortel's ottawa area offices, both physically, (2) by rootkit, (3) and by getting their own people hired to physically smuggle out documents and design data. The article only talks about the suspicion of "legacy bit and pieces" meaning (1) but no mention of rootkits (2) and nothing about planting moles (3).

Come to think of it you're really only making one claim – that Huawei engaged in industrial espionage against Nortel to such a degree that they put Nortel out of business. And nothing in the links you provide substantiate that claim.

Where is your proof or evidence that Huawei directly put Nortel out of business by engaging in industrial espionage?


What a bunch of pure bullshit.

1. None of those links provide anything like evidence or support of your accusations.

2. It's absolutely remarkable that Huawei had somehow committed all these crimes and yet nobody has ever managed to prove anything significant in a court of law.

All we get are wild accusations and law suits that get thrown out.

Here's the really remarkable aspect here: the US government doesn't need to actually force propaganda on its citizens. If there's one thing we can learn very clearly from this entire ridiculous episode it is that American citizens and the American media will happily propagandize themselves. They will eagerly believe the most far fetched claims without a shred of proof, despite all actual evidence to the contrary, and they will spread those claims to each other in a kind of extremely intense decentralized disinformation machine. There's nothing else like this in the planet. You would think after Iraq Americans would learn even the tiniest bit of skepticism... But no.

I won't even bother pointing out any more how HN has devolved into a 24/7 racist anti-China Two Minute Hate system. At this point it's beyond clear that the community has abandoned any kind integrity. I don't think there's anything to be done which is why I'I've left and had to go through the embarrassing exercise if unrecommending the site to people I've previously recommended it to. People will say this is just a phase but I doubt it. When a community abandons any kind of Truth standard and just embraces bullshit I don't think it recovers.


Nice comment history.


Please don't cross into personal attack on HN. That only makes this place worse. Also, please don't post unsubstantive comments.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


I think it was a very valid thing to post. His comment made me dive into OPs history to discover that he might as well be a paid propaganda spreader. Or at the very least not someone worth engaging or taking seriously. Why is it considered unsubstantive?


It's unsubstantive because it brings up a personal point solely (if implicitly) to cast aspersion on another user.

Internet commenters are a million times too likely to assume that someone they disagree with is posting in bad faith. This is probably the biggest poison we see on HN, and it's growing. When it comes to minorities of any kind (such as nationality), the effect is to gang up on others and hound them. If that sounds odd, imagine how you'd feel if expressing your personal view on something led people to accuse you of being a spy or a paid agent. That's happening commonly now. For an example from a few months ago, see the thread at https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19401961.

This comes from a cognitive bias rather than malice—the bias that, because my views are so obviously bright and light to me, anyone disagreeing must be coming from a dark place—but it's no less poisonous for being unintentional.


It's unsubstantive because it's purely conjecture.

Not everyone who has a differing view from the common consensus is a "paid propaganda spreader" and a differing view does not make someone any less worthy of engaging or taking seriously.

I would not classify the OP's post as unsubstantial. He makes an effort to type fully formed opinions and many of his comments are backed by citations. If you want to see an example of objectively unsubstantive posts, please see [1]. You will only find one-liners and unsubstantiated, inflammatory statements.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/threads?id=scoot_718

By the way, your comment also break HN's rules on accusing others of astroturfing:

> Please don't make insinuations about astroturfing. It degrades discussion and is usually mistaken. If you're worried, email us and we'll look at the data.


Definitely a good read, reminds on when I was in Hong Kong and my guide would always say June 4 Incident around tourists from the PRC. The mainlanders would always immediately start defending the government.


good riddance.




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