WSJ Q&A With Huawei Executive

Huawei Technologies is the world’s second-largest supplier of telecommunications network equipment, making it a player, at least in some capacity, in industry efforts to keep networks secure.

However, as the Wall Street Journal reported late last year, the results of a congressional investigation into the Chinese company indicated to  lawmakers that Huawei may have been operating in violation of United States law.  Furthermore, because Huawei’s equipment could foreseeably be used for spying on Americans, the company posed a national security risk, the investigation concluded.

That article went on to say:

[T]he committee recommends that the United States block acquisitions or mergers involving the two companies through the Committee on Foreign Investments in the U.S. . . . [and] that the U.S. government avoid using equipment from the firms, and that U.S. companies seek alternative vendors for telecommunications equipment.

Huawei denied the allegations; however, the company has effectively been removed from the United States market.

Last month, Huawei released a cyber white paper, the WSJ reports, detailing its opinion on key cyber issues and recommended responses.  Huawei’s senior vice president and global cyber security officer John Suffolk then sat down with the WSJ to discuss these points.  Here are some interesting tidbits from that Q&A.

WSJ: Are there any patterns or trends in security threats?

Mr. Suffolk: People who monitor cyber threats have identified a very distinct move onto mobile-based threats.  As you connect more devices into your corporate or personal networks, they open up another avenue for people to come in and do whatever they want to do to your data and systems.  There has been a significant increase in mobile-based malware. . . .

. . .

WSJ: What is the biggest hurdle for setting up global cyber security standards?

Mr. Suffolk: . . . [T]he technology industry doesn’t want mandatory global standards.  Because governments and big enterprises are not using their buying power to really demand the highest level of security from network equipment suppliers, vendors are not putting their investment dollars into security unless they really need to. . . .

Governments are big spenders in the information technology industry, so if many governments got together and demanded certain security standards from all vendors, the whole industry will then shift to those new standards.  And once the governments do that, enterprise clients will follow and do the same.

The WSJ also asks about and Suffolk responds to questions about Huawei as a threat to United States national security as well as China’s influential role on the company’s operations.


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One Response to “WSJ Q&A With Huawei Executive”

  1. […] has created backdoors into Huawei’s networks.  This is particularly interesting given the USG’s open consideration of Huawei as a security threat–even going as far as to block business deals out of fear that the Chinese tech giant would […]

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Professor William Snyder

Professor William C. Snyderis a member of the faculty of the Institute for National Security and Counter-terrorism at Syracuse University after fifteen years with the United States Department of Justice.

Ryan D. White

Ryan D. WhiteRyan is currently a third year law student at Syracuse University College of Law, and is also pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree from Syracuse’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Ryan spent time with Homeland Security Investigations while pursuing his undergraduate degree at Wesleyan University, and spent his first summer of law school as clerk for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of New York. He is a member of Syracuse Law Review, the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and participates in the Veteran’s Legal Clinic. Full biography

Shelby E. Mann

Ryan D. WhiteShelby is a second year law student at the Syracuse University College of Law. She is the 2018-9 Editor in Chief of the Syracuse Law Review, as well as a member of the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and the senior editor for the Syrian Accountability Project. During her final year at the University of Missouri, she served as a full-time news producer for ABC 17 News. Shelby spent her first summer of law school at the Shelby County District Attorney General's Office in Memphis, Tenn., in the Public Corruption and Economic Crimes Unit. Full biography

Christopher w. FolkChristopher W. Folk

is a 2017 graduate of SU College of Law. A non-traditional student, Christopher returned to academia after spending nearly twenty years in the high tech industry. Christopher served in the Marine Corps, graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. In Applied Economics and Business Management, attended Northeastern University’s High-Tech MBA Program and received a M.S. In Computer Information Systems. Christopher previously worked in Software Engineering. Christopher is currently serving his second term as Town Justice for the Town of Waterloo. Christopher externed with a Cybersecurity firm in the Washington, D.C. area between his first and second year at SU College of Law. Full biography

Anna Maria Castillo

Anna Maria Castillois 2016 graduate of Syracuse College of Law. She also holds a Master of Arts in International Relations from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. She has interned at a London-based think-tank that specializes in transnational terrorism and global security and at the legal department of a defense contractor. She served as an executive editor in the Syracuse Law Review. Full biography

Jennifer A. CamilloJennifer A. Camillo

is a 2015 graduate of Syracuse College of Law and is a prosecutor. She has served as a law clerk in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York and the Cayuga County District Attorney’s Office and as an extern in the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office. She was a member of the Syracuse National Trial Team and was awarded the Tiffany Cup by the New York Bar Association for her trial advocacy achievements.

Tara J. PistoreseTara J. Pistorese

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is both a scholar and a Federal Agent of the Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany. (Opinions expressed here are his own and not any part of official duty.) Full biography


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