updated 11:58 pm EDT, Thu August 15, 2013
Move by Ministry of Public Security response to PRISM, Huawei allegations
In what is likely retribution for both the US government investigating Huawei and the recent PRISM surveillance program leaks, China's Ministry of Public Security are looking into US firms IBM, Oracle, and EMC for potential security problems, reports the state-run Shanghai Securities News. The three companies are the latest in a series of investigations by various agencies within China looking at how both Chinese-national and international businesses act within the country.
An anonymous source within the Chinese government told the news agency that "at present, thanks to their technological superiority, many of our core information technology systems are basically dominated by foreign hardware and software firms, but the PRISM scandal implies security problems."
A report Reuters quotes an anonymous but "senior US official" as saying that PRISM is only used to target people outside the United States, as required by NSA mandates, including Chinese nationals. According to the report, the program was secretly reauthorized by Congress after "extensive hearings and debate."
Executives for both Huawei and ZTE denied the October 2012 espionage allegations from the US intelligence committee hearing report, claiming to not be controlled by the Chinese government. Former US government foreign technology analyst Jim Lewis was asked if Huawei were ordered by the Chinese government to spy on the US, and he answered that said "the state tells them what to do and they do it." However, neither Huawei nor ZTE are state owned.