Greenwald: NSA sneaks backdoors into hardware
The US National Security Agency (NSA) has been accused of secretly placing backdoors in networking devices made in America.
Glenn Greenwald, the former Guardian journalist who facilitated the publication of Edward Snowden’s leaks, has made the allegations in his new book No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the U.S. Surveillance State.
According to an excerpt published in the Guardian, the NSA “routinely receives – or intercepts – routers, servers and other computer network devices being exported from the US before they are delivered to the international customers”.
“The agency then implants backdoor surveillance tools, repackages the devices with a factory seal and sends them on,” he claims, adding they can be used later to spy on the end user’s network.
Ironically, the US government had accused Chinese manufacturer Huawei of acting as a front for spying activities of the Chinese government in much the same way Greenwald has claimed the NSA is behaving.
The accusations even led to Huawei being excluded from bidding on national infrastructure projects in Australia.
While Greenwald even goes so far as to claim the US’ motive in claiming Chinese networking devices cannot be trusted “ seems to have been preventing Chinese devices from supplanting American-made ones, which would have limited the NSA’s own reach”.
“It is quite possible that Chinese firms are implanting surveillance mechanisms in their network devices. But the US is certainly doing the same,” he said.