HUAWEI isn’t the most privacy-focused big tech firm. The company was classified as a “national security threat” last year and then criticized by Brtitan over security issues. Now, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, a US firm known as Business Efficiency Solutions (BES) has filed a lawsuit against HUAWEI for allegedly pushing it to plant a data backdoor for a law enforcement safer-cities project in Lahore, Pakistan.
The firm claims that HUAWEI wanted a system that would give it access to a database for collecting sensitive citizen and government data “important to Pakistan’s national security.” BES says that HUAWEI insisted on creating a “duplicate” version of the Lahore network in Suzhou, China, that would allow the Chinese firm direct access to Pakistan data.
The database, according to the report, would give HUAWEI access to national ID card records, foreigner registrations, tax records, and criminal records, and more.
BES claims that it wanted official permission from the Pakistan government however, HUAWEI threatened the firm of “cutting the deal” if it didn’t move forward without the permission. Instead, HUAWEI said that it had taken the permission. However, it didn’t provide any proof for that.
“HUAWEI respects the intellectual property of others, and there is no evidence Huawei ever implanted any back door in our products”
In a statement to WSJ, HUAWEI said that there was “no evidence” of the BES’ claims. In addition, Muhammad Kamran Khan, an investigator related to the case, says no evidence about the duplicate version has been found “so far.” However, the company has admitted that it planted such a system in China but says it was only a “test version” and was “physically isolated” from the real Lahore network.
BES also claims that HUAWEI never paid for the software it developed. Whatever may be the case, allegations and cases against HUAWEI continue to pile up.