Two Huawei employees arrested in Poland over spying allegations

14 January, 2019, 06:14 | Author: Angel Logan
  • The Huawei logo

The development comes as a USA dispute with China over a ban on Huawei is spilling over to Europe, the company's biggest foreign market, where some countries are also starting to shun its network systems over data security concerns.

But others, like Spain, Portugal and Hungary, have been more welcoming of Chinese involvement.

Historic French operator Orange has said that it won't use Huawei networks in France, but could very well do so in Spain and Poland.

"Europe is either dependent on China or the United States".

The Chinese telecommunications equipment maker Huawei says it has sacked an employee arrested in Poland on spying charges.

Polish media identified Piotr D as a former agent for Poland's ABW counter-intelligence service and current cybersecurity consultant for the Polish branch of French mobile phone provider Orange.

If convicted, they could face up to 10 years in prison.

When he tweeted the arrests in English, he included hashtags for the US Department of State, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Central Intelligence Agency.

One of the GCSB's concerns - though not its only one - is understood to be China's "National Intelligence Law" passed by China's National People's Congress in June a year ago. "These are two separate issues".

On Saturday, Brudzinski told private broadcaster RMF FM that Poland wanted to continue cooperating with China but a discussion was needed on excluding Huawei from some markets.

The Chinese foreign ministry said it was "greatly concerned" by the reports, and urged Poland to handle the case "justly". "We are asking the related country to deal with the case fairly based on laws" and protect the legitimate rights of the people, it said.

Huawei said in a statement it was aware of the situation but had no immediate comment.

"Huawei has always abided by applicable laws and regulations of the country where it is located... and requires all employees to abide by the country's laws and regulations", it said.

He had access to key information, including the functioning of SŁR, the Polish Government Communication Network which essentially allows secret transmission of information to high-ranking state officials. The country's security services searched the offices of Huawei as well as Orange Polska, public television said.

The two men were arrested on Tuesday.

Huawei has faced increasing scrutiny over its alleged links to Chinese intelligence services, prompting not just the U.S. but also Australia and Japan to block it from building their 5G internet networks.

Huawei has always maintained that, as a privately owned and operated firm, it does not pose a special security risk. Extradition to the U.S. has already begun for a warrant alleging sanctions violations in trade with Iran.

The company has attracted even greater scrutiny following the arrest of its chief financial officer last month in Canada, CNN reported. She has been released on bail, but faces a lengthy legal fight over extradition to the US. It has said it would "never tolerate such behaviour by any of our staff".



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