The Czech Republic’s cyber watchdog on Monday warned the nation’s network operators against using software or hardware made by Chinese telecoms equipment firms Huawei and ZTE, Reuters reports.
The Czech National Cyber and Information Security Agency (NCISA) issued the advisory against Chinese telecoms equipment, saying they pose a security threat, according to the report.
“China’s laws … require private companies residing in China to cooperate with intelligence services, therefore introducing them into the key state systems might present a threat,” Dusan Navratil, director of NCISA, was quoted as saying in a statement.
System administrators in critical information infrastructure, whether in the state or private sector, should take “adequate measures” against the threat, Navratil said.
The Czech government agency added that its warning notice was based on its findings and on those of allies.
The warning comes as Huawei, the world’s biggest producer of telecoms equipment, has been facing intense scrutiny in the West over its ties to the Chinese government and concerns its equipment could be used by Beijing for spying.
The company has repeatedly denied the allegations.
Responding to the Czech cyber watchdog’s warning on Monday, a Huawei spokesman said: “We categorically deny any suggestion that we pose a threat to national security. We call for NCISA to provide evidence instead of tarnishing Huawei’s reputation without any proof.”
Cyber security has always been Huawei’s top priority and Huawei has been a trusted partner for all the main telecom carriers in Czech Republic, Reuters quoted the spokesman as saying.
“There are no laws or regulations in China to compel Huawei, or any other company, to install ‘mandatory back doors’,” he said, a reference to US warnings that Huawei’s network gear could contain ‘back doors’ that would allow Chinese spies to hack into critical network infrastructure.
“Huawei has never received any such request from any government and we would never agree to it,” the Huawei spokesman said.
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