On Tuesday morning, an official Huawei Twitter account posted four-strongly worded tweets alleging the U.S. government has illegally utilized “every tool at its disposal to disrupt normal business operations of Huawei and its partners.”
For many months, the Chinese technology giant has been under heavy scrutiny for its security practices, in efforts to avoid a global-wide ban on its devices.
Huawei Breaks Protocol
However, Huawei isn’t known for initiating attacks, allegations, or even responses towards the U.S. government unless its backed into a corner. Tuesday morning’s series of tweets broke its protocol, unleashing some serious legal consequences for everyone involved to now publicly address such allegations.
Under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, a person or government agency is prohibited from the unauthorized access, or the exceeding of authorized access, of computers connected to interstate commerce. Violators of the statute are subject to both criminal and civil liability.
Tweet #1: Illegal Utilization of Government Technology and AuthoritySource: Twitter
In its first of its series of four tweets directed at the U.S. government, the company alleged that the government has instructed law enforcement to:
(1) “Threaten, menace, coerce, entice, and incite both current and former Huawei employees to turn against the company and work for them,”
(2) “Unlawfully searching, detaining, and even arresting Huawei employees and Huawei partners,”
(3) “Attempting entrapment, or pretending to be Huawei employees to establish legal pretense for unfounded accusations against the company;”
(4) Launching cyber-attacks to infiltrate Huawei’s intranet and internal information systems;”
(5) Sending FBI agents to the homes of Huawei employees and pressuring them to collect information on the company;”
(6) “Mobilizing and conspiring with companies that work with Huawei, or have a business conflict with Huawei, to bring unsubstantiated accusations against the company;”
(7) “Launching investigations based on false media reports that target the company,” referring to a recent Wall Street Journal report;
(8) “Digging up old civil cases that have already been settled, and selectively launching criminal investigations or filing criminal charges against Huawei based on claims of technology theft;” and
(9) “Obstructing normal business activities and technical communications through intimidation, denying visas, detaining shipment, etc.,” referring to recent actions taken by U.S. President Donald Trump.
Tweet #2: Discrediting HuaweiSource: Twitter
In its second tweet, Huawei “strongly condemn[ed] the malign, concerted effort by the U.S. government to discredit [the company] and curb its leadership position in the industry.”
Tweet #3: Huawei’s EnVizion 360-Panoramic CameraSource: Twitter
The third tweet revolves around Rui Oliveira, a multimedia producer from Portugal and CEO of Portuguese tech company, Imaginew, with respect to his accusations of Huawei stealing intellectual property in his U.S. patents.
Back in 2014, Oliveira met with Huawei’s US subsidiary, pitching them the idea for his patented panoramic smartphone camera.
Three years after this meeting, Huawei went to market with its EnVizion360 camera with confidence that its design differs substantially from Oliveira’s.
In an official statement, the company has “categorically rejected Mr. Oliveira’s claims of patent infringement, and has provided detailed documents in support of its stance.”
Forbes’ cybersecurity contributor, Zak Doffman goes into great-depth of the on-going conflict between the company and Oliveira in his latest piece.
Tweet #4: Wall Street Journal Gets SlammedSource: Twitter
In its final tweet, the company further alleges that The Wall Street Journal published false information on August 30, 2019, where the WSJ reported that “U.S. prosecutors are looking into additional instances of alleged technology theft—potentially expanding beyond existing criminal cases.”
One of the newer allegations, according to the WSJ, is that Huawei stole smartphone camera technology from Oliveira, going back to its third tweet.
Why You Should Care
This on-going battle between Huawei, the U.S. government, and apparently Mr. Oliveira is significant because Huawei’s telecom equipment is estimated to comprise 60% of all worldwide telecoms infrastructure.
It’s a big deal and it will be interesting to see how the U.S. government as well as the WSJ responds to these very serious and possibly, unconstitutional allegations.