2 min

The AIVD would investigate possible espionage in the Netherlands by Huawei. That’s what sources of information tell the Volkskrant. A spokesman for the Chinese company denies the accusations.

Huawei would have a back door to customer data from one of the three largest telecom providers in the Netherlands. These are Vodafone/Ziggo, T-Mobile/Tele2 or KPN. The intelligence service would now investigate a possible link with espionage by the Chinese government.

In its response to the newspaper, the AIVD never asks the newspaper to respond to questions about possible ongoing investigations. Nor does the intelligence service wish to confirm or deny that an investigation is in progress. The providers themselves do not say much either. Vodafone/Ziggo and KPN do not want to react in terms of content, T-Mobile/Tele2 says it is not aware of an investigation by the AIVD.

Huawei himself responds, and does not say that the company does not cooperate in espionage. “In every country where we do business, we comply with laws and regulations and protect the privacy of our customers,” said the company. The manufacturer also states that it will continue to invest and innovate “in order to keep the door closed to governments or parties that want to use our network for activities that endanger cybersecurity”.

Previous suspicions

Suspicions of Chinese espionage through Huawei have been around for some time. The US has long warned against such espionage and is lobbying allies to keep the company’s equipment out of the 5G network. The company already has a ban in the United States, Australia, Japan and New Zealand.

In the Netherlands, a policy on Huawei and other Chinese companies is still being developed. According to De Volkskrant, however, the AIVD and the MIVD have already issued advice on a possible policy. The two intelligence services say that it is “undesirable” for the Netherlands to make itself dependent on “IT products and services from countries that have been identified as conducting an offensive cyber programme against Dutch interests”.

The Cabinet is awaiting the results of studies by the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security (NCTV) for its policy. The NCTV is currently investigating whether the Chinese company can be sufficiently trusted. The NCTV has also set up a task force to examine the risks associated with the construction and use of 5G. KPN, T-Mobile and Vodafone/Ziggo are also working on this. The results of both surveys are expected by the end of this month.

Use of equipment Huawei

Various telecom companies in the Netherlands are already using Huawei equipment, including devices on the edge of the network and hardware and software in the core of networks. The Chinese company is also a major player on the market with relatively cheap products.

We have since announced that we have a provisional agreement with Huawei to contribute to the 5G network. The Chinese manufacturer is not the only player. The agreement can also be modified or reversed to bring it into line with future Dutch government policy.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.