Huawei has been sued in California federal court for creating a “backdoor” that allowed it to collect sensitive data “important to Pakistan’s national security”, reports Reuters.
Business Efficiency Solutions (BES), a California-based IT consultant company, filed a complaint against the China-based tech giant on Wednesday, August 11.
According to the complaint, Huawei subcontracted with BES in 2016 for its $150 million bid to develop software for a Pakistani government programme providing new technology for police and law enforcement in Lahore. BES said it created software for the project that collects data from government agencies, controls access to buildings, monitors social media and manages drones, among other things.
Huawei officials allegedly demanded that BES send this information to the company in China for testing, and BES said it agreed to the demand but terminated its authorisation to use the technology after Huawei revoked its access to the testing laboratory.
The complaint said Huawei has yet to return any of the confidential software design tools or uninstall the software, as BES said it had agreed to.
BES said Huawei later demanded it install its data-aggregation software – used by Pakistani law enforcement to collect and analyse “sensitive data from different sources and government agencies” – in its Chinese lab, “this time not merely for testing purposes but with full access to data at the Lahore Safe City project.” BES said it agreed, under threat of termination and withheld payments, after Huawei said it had approval from the Pakistani government.
Huawei has yet to respond to the lawsuit filed by BES through its legal team. BES also did not share any more information beyond the case that it filed in the federal court.
The IT consulting firm also accused Huawei of stealing the “trade secrets, and other intellectual properties in its possessions after officials of the China tech company demanded it for testing.”
Up until now, the lawsuit alleged that Huawei has not returned the software design tools to BES.
Moreover, BES said that it only allowed Huawei to use the software with full access as the latter threatened that they will not be paid, which the Chinese giant has yet to do for some of the software in the project.
Huawei is a Chinese firm that has been banned in the United States (US) after it was accused of being a security risk. Thus, Google forcibly removed its services from the devices of the Chinese phone maker.
However, Huawei recently decided to live without Google by debuting its own operating system across all of its devices.