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Chinese Intelligence Listening in on your phone calls

Chinese Intelligence Listening in on your phone calls

The technical explanation of this is easy. Huawei builds telecom switches. These are complex and expensive computers that route phone calls placed strategically at local telephone exchanges. China has built in the ability to route your calls to not only the intended recipient but also to any place else they wish, without you knowing.

For example, their listening post in China or to a hard drive someplace where they can recall, transcribe and read your private conversations.

So if you are in any way important to China, if you have access to tech that they need, if you have contact with Chinese Americans, if you are a member of the media or anything else that might make you a target, Chinese intelligence services are likely listening in on your conversations – provided your calls go through one of these exchanges.

And of course, they could turn all of their devices into “bricks,” meaning shut down the equipment and the communications they control permanently. But that would be an extreme measure, only useful in war time.

President Trump knew this – “We don’t want their equipment in the United States because they spy on us,” Trump told Fox News. “And any country that uses it, we’re not going to do anything in terms of sharing intelligence.” Trump issued an executive order barring US companies from using information and communications technology from anyone considered a national security threat and declared a national emergency on the matter.

Two Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE, are known to be under the thumb of Chinese Intelligence. One might speculate with confidence that all Chinese companies are associated with Chinese Intelligence to one degree or another. But communications intelligence (COMINT) of the kind these companies can generate is priceless.

Unfortunately, over 200 local telecoms in the U.S. still use equipment from Huawei and ZTE and cannot afford to have it replaced, including rural wireless networks and providers of broadband internet and TV, a handful of universities and school districts and even city governments.

The FCC is saying it will require an additional $3 Billion to get rid of the remaining equipment from these manufacturers.

Some thoughts come to mind.

a) You never want to leave intelligence collection devices in place (unless you are planning to work them against their owners, which is not the case here).

b) The U.S. government should never have allowed this equipment into the country. EVERYONE in the intelligence community knows that the potential for spying is near 100% for this kind of equipment. Trump was the first to take this seriously.

c) Since the equipment was not banned originally, it is the USG’s responsibility to fix this problem.

Unfortunately, the U.S. is not the only country that has problems. Europe is riddled with this equipment, as is Asia and the third world. In fact, Huawei is the largest telecom equipment manufacturer in the world.

This puts China in a very powerful position.

Why suspected Chinese spy gear remains in America’s telecom networks

U.S. officials: Using Huawei tech opens door to Chinese spying, censorship

The US government’s battle with Chinese telecom giant Huawei, explained

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  1. Ben

    I’ll have to start talking gibberish like Biden

  2. Frank stetson

    Shoot, you stole my thunder. Except I was gonna use Trump. I guess you suffer from BDS as much as I suffer from tedious. (Joe I’ll get this joke, he has humor 🙂

    It was pretty funny though.

    These guys started by lowballing prices for all the electro mechanical stuff, class 4&5 offices and such. Even though there was very little eave dropping potential there with the e-m technology, I still thought it was a very dangerous thing to allow foreigners to build out our work. When they moved into the digital age, a definite disaster in waiting.

    Someone should investigate the politics of how that happened. Sounds to me like new laws might be needed

    Guess we’ll have to say hats off to Trump for catching that one but too bad I most of the remaining hotspots are in Trampersstan

    • Miles collins

      Wow!!!!! I’ve never seen people so scared of Trump. Do you have mommy to look under the bed for him when she comes to the basement to tuck you in?

  3. Frank stetson

    Sure: starts out with Biden slam and you focus of Trump. A bit defensive aren’t we? Feeling guilty?

    Just not capable of talking issues. Always Trump sensitive you are.

    My mom has been dead for a decade. Horrible memory. Thanks though. Nice guy.

    • Miles collins

      My mother’s death is a horrible memory too. But she turned Republican before she died. Sorry for your loss. I mean it

      • Frank stetson

        My mom called me her little republican. Which is why I laugh when you guys treat me like the alpha liberal. Perhaps social issues, but in finance, republicans are way to liberal for me.

        Sorry for your memory. Perhaps everyone should think on that as you consider your next third party slam. Or better yet; issues. My Trumpism above was a joke in response to the biden dig. Everyone Lighten up. We are all Americans.

        Meanwhile, another funny. Imagine being in Hong Kong working with Hong Kong folks as the Chinese takeover, literally entering the street With their little green suits and automatic weapons for the first time. We are rolling out VoIP which required two sites, one in the US and one foreign. This one is just over the line in mainland China and I have lab folks basically sitting in a chicken coop setting up a server on cinder blocks while we’re all wonder if what we’re doing is legal in China. It is in Hong Kong, but the rest is a?grey area. It was pretty funny how scared we were actually. Then, we end up at the top of a hotel in a bar as the Hong Kong folks give us gifts, mine being a little Chinese Chinese Coppertone boy with a dog pulling down his pants like the old sign. Everything is very serious and has been serious all day as one of the guys say be careful of customs with that. I ask what? They respond, that’s where we put the drugs. Apparently, the folks in Hong Kong got their sense of humor from the British… I was freaked. They were rolling. Still have the ceramic though.