Business Efficiency Solutions (BES) has accused Huawei not only of stealing technology but also of pressuring the company to install a data backdoor for a law enforcement safer-cities project in Lahore, Pakistan.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the system allegedly gave Huawei access to a database that helped it collect top-secret citizen and government data that was “vital to Pakistan’s national security.”
BES claims that Huawei insisted on creating a duplicate version of the Lahore network in Suzhou, China, that would provide direct access to Pakistani data.
While BES sought permission from Pakistani authorities before continuing, Huawei allegedly claimed that it did not need permission and threatened to break off the business if BES did not continue. Later, the Chinese technology company claimed that it had received permission, but refused to prove it upon request.
Huawei told the Journal there was “no evidence” that it had built back doors into any products.
In a statement on the dispute, Huawei acknowledged the duplicate system in China but stated it was merely a trial version that was “physically isolated” from the real network and therefore unable to extract data.
Muhammad Kamran Khan, an official in charge of the effort in Lahore, said an investigation was underway but “so far” there was no evidence of data theft.
The lawsuit highlights lingering concerns that Huawei could help China’s surveillance targets, which the technology company has long denied, and there is no clear evidence that it has used backdoors to spy on other countries, but that has not ended the suspicion that has led the U.S., U.K., and other countries to blacklist its technology.
For more information, read the original story in Engadget.