Hypocrisy in the 5G debate: NSA spied on Huawei and GCSB spied on China


Who is spying on who? Much of the commentary so far assumes that Huawei, if let into 5G, could spy on our communications. So far there is no evidence Huawei has ever done this, for itself or on behalf of the Chinese government. Huawei spokespeople make the obvious point that their global business would take a big hit if they were ever caught spying.

Missing from the latest debate is that fact that Huawei has itself has been targeted: by the United States National Security Agency (NSA), the biggest player in the Western Five Eyes spying network.

In 2014 the New York Times and De Spiegel revealed, from the Snowden papers, that the NSA had created its own backdoors into computer networks at Huawei’s headquarters in Shenzhen. The NSA’s Operation Shotgiant allowed it to monitor the communications of Huawei’s top executives, read company emails and even obtain the secret source code for Huawei products. According to the Times, the NSA’s aim was “to exploit Huawei’s technology” so that when Huawei installed products around the world “the NSA could roam through their computer and telephone networks to conduct surveillance and, if ordered by the president, offensive cyberoperations.” One NSA document was happy with what they had been able to achieve: “We currently have good access and so much data that we don’t know what to do with it.”

The Snowden papers, as reported in the New Zealand Herald, also showed how the NSA joined with our Government Communications Security Bureau in a spying project, “GCSB Project Frostbite” to intercept communications between the Chinese Consulate and the China Visa Office in Auckland.

- Sponsor Promotion -

Also, according to the New Zealand Herald, another “2013 NSA document showed China at the top of a list of targets it was having monitored by the GCSB, saying the New Zealand agency gave the NSA ‘access to areas and countries that are difficult for the United States to access.’”

So it’s no surprise, with such a background in doing the NSA’s dirty work, the GCSB has backed the American position, that Huawei should not be involved in New Zealand’s 5G network. It would be dangerous for the government to leave the decision on Huawei and 5G to such an agency.

The GCSB’s and the government’s scaremongering about the danger of Huawei spying through 5G can be summed up in two words: gross hypocrisy.


  1. Muller investigation finds no evidence of Russian interference in U.S. Election 2016, SIS Rebcca Kitteridge and GCSBs Andrew recycles fake news that Russia inter armed in U.S. Elections. They know it’s false intelligence but recycle it any way. Any intelligence officer would never use fake news as evidence.

    • gee..!..wouldn’t mind a source for that mueller claim – and no..infowars is not a source..

      and the disconnect here is yuuge..!

      here we are – a member of five eyes…out telecom systems sodden with american spyware..

      and we are getting attacks of the vapors/dizzy spells ‘cos of some threat presented by huawei…

      this is all bullshit-on-a-stick..

      and as a personal protest – i had to get a new phone – i threw away my old apple – and got a huawei…

      it’s a great phone..

      • The source for the Mueller claim is the Mueller investigation itself. They have produced no hard evidence, only a bunch of “in our opinion….” nad “the evidence infers…” nonsense

          • Why are you still waiting for evidence after 2 years of the mueller investigations? The only reason this is a thing is because the DNC refuse to recognise they stole the primaries from Sanders, now you’ve got an attitude.

    • Sam: “Muller investigation finds no evidence of Russian interference in U.S. Election 2016….”

      Indeed. On RNZ recently, I heard Andrew Hampton claim that NZ was being subject to cyber interference by foreign governments, most likely China and Russia.

      The implication was that non-democracies spy on democracies. Of course, Russia is a democracy, so that argument falls over at the first hurdle. And it is the means by which we can figure out (if we hadn’t already) that these people are being disingenuous at best, mendacious at worst.

      As I recall, he suggested that such countries wished to spy on NZ, for instance, to find out about technological advances here. This is just risible: both China and Russia are well ahead of NZ, in respect of technology. Neither country has anything much to learn from NZ.

      “They know it’s false intelligence but recycle it any way.”

      Yup. Do they think that we the citizens are so poorly-informed that we just believe this stuff? Or is it worse: they’re well aware that we know what they say is untrue, but they don’t care a fig for the citizens whom they’re supposed to be serving . They don’t care what we think, and they don’t expect to be challenged (and certainly, when it comes to the msm, that’s so).

      I suspect the latter.

      • Yeah, so New Zealand is finding security in the place where we live, in Oceania. Apart of that is two large (by our standards) free trade agreements with Australia and China and the Jacinda Government wish to offset that with a UK free trade agreement and to do that very quickly, we would have ,inked to have had one with the U.S but a dairy concession with the U.S is impossible to get around U.S dairy subsidies.

        I think they are getting that right but every one should know that this has been a very long term policy across a few governments the Clark & Keys and now Jacinda. That is good in terms of our engagement with the region but the psychological point is do we find security in 5i’s or from 5i’s. Now I’v always been in the 5i’s camp that we find security in 5i’s, not from 5i’s. And that fundamentally means having a foreign policy that adapts to the realities of the region, in Oceania. And the realities of Oceania is we have two great powers China and America, and Indonesia and Australia and we have a group of nations in the Pacific forums block and a country like New Zealand has to run pragmatic policies to find security from those interests rather than some sort of nostalgia for lying to the people believing that this is all some sort of eastern block development. Our real development and linkages is with Oceania.

  2. Who are the US Moles in the GSCB and NZ govt at the highest levels both political and more permanent Govt departments.

  3. And on the wider topic of who is spying on whom, Gideon Levy has written in Haaretz about the Israeli’s high-tech secret cyber-spy base 8200:

    ” For Israel’s Golden Intel Boys, It Starts With Terror and Ends With Greed
    Veterans of Israel’s famed signal intelligence corps, already well versed in violence against the helpless, are now indulging in rotten meddling abroad”
    Haaretz 19 Feb 2019

  4. More to the point……….

    5G cell towers are dangerous because they are ultra high frequency and ultra high intensity. As an example earlier cellphone generations used between 1 to 4 gigahertz frequency. But 5G uses between 23 to 90 gigahertz. That is basically 90 billion electromagnetic waves hitting the cells of your body each second. This is many times more radiation than we are exposed to naturally. Also because of the shorter millimeter wave length (MMV) they do not travel as far and can’t go through objects like buildings or trees. In order for users to have good reception it is estimated they will need to put a mini cell station every 2 to 8 houses. This will multiply significantly the amount of radiation we will be exposed to.

  5. When a super-power such as china is invading your country by stealth, trying to take over, sneaking in the back door, buying out your land and resources for commercial gain and in preparation for complete control, it is acceptable to investigate what they’re up to by ‘open’ means.
    ‘Open’ in comparison to Huawei’s clandestine surveillance and interception through the use of trojan horses in their 5G equipment.
    Open as in we know about Waihopai, we know what it does and that it exists.
    China has no legitimate reason to be spying on NZ.

  6. Who would have thunk it! Huawei is awesome, my current phone is Huawei and my next phone will be Huawei!

    Samsung phones are garbage and full of bloat-ware and iPhones are a walled garden less and less people want.

    Let Huawei be involved in delivering 5G, to be honest, New Zealand should be so lucky!

  7. we should have NO PART in the new Cold War between China and the US. There is obviously super-power rivalry between those 2 states and we’d be squashed underfoot if we even appeared to take sides!

    It’s a bit rich for the West to be complaining about (unproven) spying by Huawei when the 5 eyes network is specifically set up to spy on China, Russia, etc.

    Hypocrisy indeed!!

    • Every Micro$oft OS has a back door purposeful built in.

      China is working to get rid of Windo$e and run their own more secure open source operating system.

      Hi Windo$e users you have an open line with whoever but it is a one way affair.

      Would you trust Micro$oft, Bill Gates and the NSA.

      NZ Govt seems to but fools are not rare creatures.

  8. Get rid of all these spy agencies that cost this country a large wack of money and who spy on people because of their political bent. Nothing illegal about having a left view. Do spy on the right wing, I doubt it.

  9. Anyone picked up on this:
    “There may be a lot more than meets the eye in Canada’s shock arrest, at US behest, of Huawei’s CFO and heir apparent Meng Wanzhou (link below).
    Chinese sources have assembled the following facts:
    • April 2017: A director of Chinese tech giant Huawei personally escorted famed Shanghai-born physicist Zhang Shoucheng from the latter’s hotel in Shenzhen. Jackson & Wood Professor of Physics at Stanford University, Zhang was in town to attend an IT summit.
    • Sept. 2018: Prof. Zhang receives a European physics award, one of his many honors. His work in quantum physics is expected to revolutionize the global semiconductor industry.
    Yang Zhenning, the first Chinese scientist to receive the Nobel Physics Prize (1957), had predicted that Zhang would be the next one.
    • Dec. 1, 2018: Prof. Zhang and Meng Wanzhou are expected to attend a dinner in Argentina, where the G20 summit is being held.
    • Dec. 1, 2018: On her way there, Meng is arrested in transit by the Canadian government.
    • Dec. 1, 2018: Prof. Zhang falls to his death from a building in the US, allegedly a suicide. Said to be suffering from depression, he was 55.
    • Dec. 1, 2018: A nighttime fire breaks out at a factory of Holland’s ASML, the world’s leading manufacturer of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography technology. EUV is crucial to the production of the next generation of semi-conductors, which US and Chinese tech firms as well as Korea’s Samsung are competing to be first to bring to market. Leading Chinese semiconductor producer SMIC is known to have ordered EUV technology worth US$120 million from ASML, for scheduled delivery early in 2019.
    After the fire, ASML announced that it expected delays in shipments of its products, notably early 2019.”


Comments are closed.