As was expected, Huawei on Thursday announced that it has filed a lawsuit against the United States government over a provision (Section 889) to the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that effectively bans all US government agencies from using products manufactured by the company (as well as ZTE), over spying concerns.
The ban on Huawei and ZTE underscores the tensions that exist between the US and China, and efforts to stay one step ahead in today's cybersecurity landscape. On multiple occasions, US intelligence agencies have warned that Huawei and ZTE present a security threat and could be spying on users at the behest of China's government.
Huawei has repeatedly denied the claims, and in a press conference announcing the lawsuit, the company had some strong language for what it feels is an unjust and unconstitutional ban.
"The US Congress has repeatedly failed to produce any evidence to support its restrictions on Huawei products. We are compelled to take this legal action as a proper and last resort," Guo Ping, Huawei Rotating Chairman said. "This ban not only is unlawful, but also restricts Huawei from engaging in fair competition, ultimately harming US consumers. We look forward to the court's verdict, and trust that it will benefit both Huawei and the American people."
Mr. Ping also questioned the true intent of the ban and accused the US government of being motivated by fear that Huawei is ahead in 5G technology advancements.
"If this law is set aside, as it should be, Huawei can bring more advanced technologies to the United States and help it build the best 5G networks. Huawei is willing to address the US government's security concerns. Lifting the NDAA ban will give the US government the flexibility it needs to work with Huawei and solve real security issues," Mr. Ping added.
Mr. Ping also maintains that Huawei has never installed so-called "backdoors" onto any of its products, will never do so, and will never allow other companies or agencies to manipulate its products in such a manner. Backdoors are basically built-in ways to bypass security and/or encryption. The concept of a backdoor was at the center of a standoff between Apple and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) when the latter implored the former to help it break into an iPhone that was used by the San Bernardino shooter.
Huawei's stance in regards to Section 889 of the NDAA is that it strips the company of due process, thereby allowing the US government to ban the company's products without any proof of nefarious behavior.