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Huawei employees have been accused of hacking the phones of political opponents in Uganda and Zambia. The firm’s employees reportedly used a piece of software known as Pegasus to decrypt encrypted messages tapped from the devices of political opponents. According to the Wall Street Journal who broke the story, Huawei’s Chinese head office was unaware of the spying, nor have they engaged in any similar spying for the Chinese government.
Huawei completely disputes the reporting in the article. The firm issued the following statement to CNBC in response to the WSJ report:
After a thorough and detailed internal investigation on the points raised by the WSJ’s reporting team, Huawei rejects completely these unfounded and inaccurate allegations against our business operations in Algeria, Uganda and Zambia. 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.
The NSO Group which produces the Pegasus software also released the following statement disputing the claims:
The WSJ article is wrong. And we told them that very clearly when they asked us. We don’t work with Huawei at all. We don’t do business with Uganda, at all. And only NSO sells Pegasus — no one else does.
Whatever the truth may be in the matter, Huawei’s already tarnished reputation can ill-afford hits like this. Especially when one considers the US’s wavering promise to approve business deals with the pariah firm.