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Huawei Engineers Helped African Governments Spy on Political Rivals, Report


With months of scrutinizing Huawei ‘s telco equipment, it seems the U.S. may have yet another proof that can be used to confirm its allegations over the potential espionage use of Huawei’s equipment.

The WSJ has reported that the Chinese tech giant’s technicians were caught keeping tabs on the opposition for some African governments. The technicians allegedly used cell data to spy on movements and also helped in tracking opposition’s social media accounts and even intercept encrypted communications.

The latest investigations from the online publication reveal that indeed, many people have had their suspicions that the company could be helping some African leaders spy on their opponents.

Despite the consistent assurance that Huawei is clean from the alleged sentiments by the U.S., the current investigation is yet another addition to the list of issues the U.S. Commerce Department holds against Huawei. The WSJ states that Huawei has been helping the Ugandan and Zambian leaders keep tabs on their opponents.

In Uganda specifically, the government allegedly leveraged technical skills of Huawei engineers to spy on the human right activist Bobi Whine using an Israeli hacking tool that helped them decrypt his WhatsApp messages. Which, in turn, enabled them to intercept whatever plans that were going on under the limelight.

On the other hand, the engineers reportedly helped the Zambian government obtain access to phones and social media pages of opposition bloggers gathering the information that was later on used against them, leading to their arrest.

In response to the matter, ‘Huawei’s local office at both countries bashed the allegations terming them as “fake news.” Talking about fake news, Huawei has been fighting against “rumors” surrounding the U.S. ban. The company even went ahead, creating a dedicated social media page “Huawei Facts” to spread all the glitters and gold about the company.

“Huawei rejects completely these unfounded and inaccurate allegations against our business operations. Our internal investigation shows clearly that Huawei and its employees have not been engaged in any of the activities alleged. We have neither the contracts nor the capabilities, to do so,” stated a Huawei spokesperson to the Wsj.

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Alvin Wanjala

Alvin is a freelance tech journalist. Talk to me via email at alvinwanjala[at]pm[dot]me

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