Home > Papua New Guinea > O’Neill Government Places National Security at Risk with Huawei Technology Contract

O’Neill Government Places National Security at Risk with Huawei Technology Contract

September 20, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

The United States and Australia blocked Chinese multinational Huawei Technology over espionage concerns, the O’Neill government plans to give them access to its most secure communications systems.

Last Friday EMTV reported:

“The Integrated Government Information System project will see computerized and integrated information and data sharing mechanism for government departments and agencies using latest Information Technology … Huawei Technology is the project developer, working to connect the 52 government departments throughout the country, to enable efficient communication network”.

What EMTV neglected to mention are the serious concerns that have been raised over Huawei Technology’s links with the Chinese military.

According to the New York Times:

“Huawei has struggled to break into the United States market, largely because of the security concerns and accusations of intellectual property theft and corporate espionage The company has repeatedly been linked to the People’s Liberation Army of China. And over the last decade, Huawei has been sued in the United States by two of its major competitors … over accusations that it stole software designed and infringed on patents.”

So concerned was the Australian government that Huawei Technology was allegedly banned from tendering for National Broadband Network contracts.

A spokesperson for the Australian Attorney General told the Wall Street Journal:

“The National Broadband Network is the largest nation-building project in Australian history, and it will become the backbone of Australia’s information infrastructure. As such, and as a strategic and significant government investment, we have a responsibility to do our utmost to protect its integrity and that of the information carried on it”.

So the US and Australian governments block Huawei Technology from accessing their infrastructure over serious security and espionage concerns, but the O’Neill government is happy to give the company access to its most sensitive communications systems.

Perhaps they don’t have a choice; after all O’Neill has signed a series of concessional loans with the Chinese government which bind it to certain Chinese companies.

Either way, the national security appears to be at stake.

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  1. September 20, 2013 at 11:26 am

    Please remove the ads from your posts. It tampers with the content of your posts.

    • September 21, 2013 at 6:03 am

      Sorry, we have no control over the adverts that wordpress chooses to display. They are their adverts not ours.

  2. September 20, 2013 at 11:34 am

    A few thinking Papua New Guineans have always expressed their reservations on this move by the government from the outset but the government turned a blind eye to those calls. In any case, this was a decision that was initiated by the Somare government. I was hoping for O’Neil to reconsider this decision but he has allowed this to follow on through.
    PNG’s National Security is dead.
    My alarm bells went off way back when we allowed the Chinese to “renovate” the Government House.

  3. September 20, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    HI there,

    My name is Luke Coleman, I’m the Public Affairs manager for Huawei in Australia and I have to say that there is absolutely no risk to PNG’s national security by using Huawei equipment – Huawei is the world leader in delivering next-generation network technology.

    Huawei is building 8 of the 9 National Broadband Network projects around the world – including the UK, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, and more. 45 of the world’s top 50 operators use Huawei equipment, and all of Australia’s major operators use Huawei equipment. There is no way that British Telecom or the UK Government would allow Huawei to build their networks unless they were completely confident in the security and integrity of Huawei’s technology, which they clearly are.

    The people of PNG should be confident that they will soon have access to a world-class network which will dramatically improve Government services and connectivity. More than one third of the world’s population uses Huawei’s equipment every single day – you don’t get to that level of success unless your customers and partners trust your technology, your company, and your employees.

    -Luke

    • Bradley
      September 21, 2013 at 8:57 pm

      Thanks Luke for taking the time to relate the company’s perspective. But I am not sure the example of Britain is a good one to forward. After all the Parliamentary Intelligence Committee slammed the way British Telecom (BT) contracted Huawei Technology.

      They concluded: “The BT/Huawei relationship began nearly ten years ago; the process for considering national security issues at that time was insufficiently robust. The Committee was shocked that officials chose not to inform, let alone consult, Ministers on such an issue. We are not convinced that there has been any improvement since then in terms of an effective procedure for considering foreign investment in the Critical National Infrastructure (CNI)”.

      The committee also noted, referring to evidence British intelligence, that “the Chinese State may be able to exploit any vulnerabilities in Huawei’s equipment in order to gain some access to the BT network, which would provide them with an attractive espionage opportunity”.

      On top of that the Committee has suggested that Huawei cynically exploited its entry in the British market in a bid to win the confidence of other markets: “Huawei’s PR campaign appears to have fallen flat thus far, as other countries have taken an increasingly critical stance towards the company’s involvement in their national telecommunications networks.”

      The report can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/205680/ISC-Report-Foreign-Investment-in-the-Critical-National-Infrastructure.pdf

      Similar remarks were made in a report produced by the US House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. It concluded that “the risks associated with Huawei’s and ZTE’s provision of equipment to U.S. critical infrastructure could undermine core U.S. national-security interests”.

      See: http://intelligence.house.gov/sites/intelligence.house.gov/files/Huawei-ZTE%20Investigative%20Report%20(FINAL).pdf

  4. September 20, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    It seems that PNG Government is showing ‘no care attitude’ to the citizens. Can the government look at alternatives. We need a proper database for all information and the government is right to implement this technology but choosing the technology provided condemned by many nations is not right

  5. Ernest M. Abel
    September 21, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    Crazy,,,longlong winim longlong

  6. September 21, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    I think the government is responding to external matters of foreign policy really well..,with China’s enticing policies to economic development and bilateral relations..I believe PNG will too become a consumer demanded economy in a free-market setting.

  7. pkay
    September 29, 2013 at 8:32 am

    Who said Mao Zedong and his little red book is dead and gone or Hua Guofeng is not laughing in his grave or Li Peng and Wen Jiabao have vanished?? The Chinese have found a way of getting around any obstacles anywhere, any time, any how as a matter of course. They do not think it is wrong, they think it is the best way they know how – not wrong, just different.

    Developing countries in the Pacific and dictatorships in Africa, Latin America and elsewhere are most vulnerable and gullible because the Chinese have no qualms about buying their way in with money. With lots and lots of money because they have lots and lots of it and can afford to do this. PNG has swallowed their line, hook, bait, sinkers and all with no care. The Qing Dynasty is here and the game is not win/win. It is win/lose. They win/anybody else loses. The evidence is all over the world. China already owns half of the United States and by 2020 its economy will surpass the US economy.

    The evidence is all around Port Moresby, starting at Government House – you can bet the GG isn’t thinking too much about Her Majesty when he counts his “earnings”. The face, the smell, the riches and the way of doing business Chinese way is here. Here to stay.

    Huawei is not just a nice entry into telco in PNG or just an additional string to the bow of growing Chinese influence in PNG politics. It compliments and completes their domination in every way around the world including access to issues of national security. May Huawei will do a better job than our NIO which is non existent. May be Huawei will share what intelligence they choose to share with us and use the rest to their advantage – in a win/lose situation.

  8. Tony Flynn
    September 30, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    It has not yet been mentioned that Chinese Government Companies and other connected Companies could have access to valuable information about the relationships between the various Government Departments and Western investors. I should have thought that the Chamber of Mines would have expressed their worries about the economic consequences of insider information being available on the network. Exploration entities do have to report their results which are, I believe, supposed to be confidential.
    Tony Flynn

  9. Bobin
    October 21, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    “The Integrated Government Information System project will see computerized and integrated information and data sharing mechanism for government departments and agencies using latest Information Technology made freely available to the Chicom Govt to use as it sees fit!” should be the appropriate Quote.

    Ignore Luke Coleman, Public Affairs manager Australia (Impressive sounding title – No?) and his predicable lickspittle effort to appease those who sign his Pay Cheque.

    If you think the Chicoms aren’t playing the long game of which huawei is but a small component then think again.

    What sort of back doors for instance are built into IC chips found in every day electronics like a Huawei Smart Phone for Instance?

    Why are counterfeit chips being introduced into the supply stream of military contractors around the world and is the Field Reprogrammable Gate Array Chip (milspec grade) already compromised?

    If like Joe Wabag happily farming his KauKaus on the hillside along Boroko ridge during the wet season the above makes no sense then good luck explaining to your wantoks the dangers that lie ahead.

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