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Chinese telecom firms pose threat, investigators say

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By The Washington Post
Monday, Oct. 8, 2012, 7:24 p.m.

WASHINGTON — Congressional investigators plan to turn over to the FBI evidence of potential cyber-espionage involving Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies, the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence said on Monday.

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) said committee investigators received “numerous allegations” from companies that equipment bought from Huawei sent unauthorized data to computers in China.

“That's a serious problem,” Rogers said at a news conference to release the results of an 11-month investigation into Huawei and another Chinese tech giant, ZTE. “It could be a router that turns on in the middle of the night, starts sending back large data packs, and it happens to be sent back to China.” Rogers declined to identify companies that had complained about suspicious data transfers. But he and Maryland Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, the committee's ranking Democrat, recommended that the government and American firms avoid using equipment from the Chinese firms for tasks that involve large amounts of sensitive data. The two lawmakers said the firms' close ties to the Chinese government pose a threat to national security.

William Plummer, Huawei's vice president for external affairs, denied the accusations and denounced the report as “quite strong on rhetoric.”

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