Magazine Says NSA Spied on Top China Officials, Huawei Technologies
German News Weekly Der Spiegel Cites Documents Supplied by Edward Snowden
By Harriet Torry
Updated March 23, 2014 5:51 a.m. ET
BERLIN—The U.S. National Security Agency allegedly spied on Chinese technology company Huawei Technologies Co. in early 2009 and targeted Chinese officials including former President Hu Jintao, according to German weekly news magazine Der Spiegel.
The allegations were contained in pre-released extracts of an article from next week's edition, citing documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
Aside from Mr. Hu, other NSA targets in China included the Chinese Trade Ministry, the Foreign Ministry and unidentified banks, Der Spiegel reported. In the extracts, Der Spiegel didn't elaborate on the alleged spying on the officials.
Referring to a top-secret NSA presentation, the magazine said the NSA accessed the Chinese network equipment supplier's email archive, including Huawei Chief Executive Ren Zhengfei's messages.
The NSA also accessed the secret source code for certain Huawei products, the presentation reportedly said. The NSA's operations against Huawei, called Shotgiant, were conducted with involvement from the White House, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Der Spiegel added.
The White House on Saturday didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on the Spiegel article.
A spokesman for Huawei said if the reports are accurate, the company condemns the infiltration of its internal networks and calls for a cooperative approach to security.
"We reiterate that Huawei disagrees with all activities that threaten the security of networks and is willing to work with all governments, industry stakeholders and customers, in an open and transparent manner, to jointly address the global challenge of network security," said the spokesman, Scott Sykes.
China's foreign ministry didn't immediately respond to requests for comment. Read more ...