90 Miles From Tyranny : Huawei Has Been Helping African Countries Spy On Political Opponents: WSJ Investigation

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Huawei Has Been Helping African Countries Spy On Political Opponents: WSJ Investigation

  • Huawei employees helped African officials spy on political opponents, The Wall Street Journal reported.
  • Officials in Uganda and Zambia hired Huawei employees who used their own technology along with products from outside companies to hack into the social media of political opponents.
  • Huawei officials have denied the reports, saying the company does not have the “contracts, nor the capabilities, to do so.”
Huawei, a Chinese tech company President Donald Trump placed sanctions on, helped African countries spy on political opponents in at least two instances, The Wall Street Journal found.
Intelligence officials in Uganda and Zambia hired technicians from Huawei to support domestic spying using the company’s technology and other companies’ products, WSJ reported Wednesday.

Huawei dominates Africa’s digital industry as the country’s most successful supplier of 4G and 5G mobile networks and government surveillance systems.

In Kampala, Uganda, WSJ found that six intelligence officials working for President Yoweri Museveni, who has held his position for more than 33 years, allegedly recruited Huawei technicians to hack into the Skype and WhatsApp accounts of Museveni’s opponent.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) invites Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (L) to view an honour guard during a welcoming ceremony inside the Great Hall of the People on March 31, 2015. (Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images)

“The Huawei technicians worked for two days and helped us puncture through,” said one senior officer at the surveillance unit.

The Chinese employees reportedly used Israeli-made spyware purchased by the Ugandan government to encrypt communications from Bobi Wine, a pop-star-turned-politician with U.S. support — and Museveni’s most threatening...

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