Business Efficiency Solutions (BES) LLC, a California-based company, has moved to California Federal Court against Huawei for stealing its trade secrets during a collaborative project for the Pakistani government and spying on Pakistani police and law enforcement agencies.
In a petition lodged by Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld LLP, a leading global law firm, BES, contended that the Chinese tech giant used its technology to create a “backdoor” to collect sensitive data that was important to Pakistan’s national security.
For the unversed, a backdoor means a feature or defect of a computer system that allows surreptitious unauthorized access to data.
The petition alleged that Huawei subcontracted BES in 2016 for $150 million for developing software systems to equip Pakistan’s police and other law enforcement agencies with the latest technologies.
BES developed 8 software systems that collect data from government departments, control access to buildings, monitor social media, and manage drones along with performing other major tasks.
The software systems included proprietary code, designs, diagrams, and other information that are considered valuable trade secrets by BES.
Huawei forced BES to send software systems to the company in China for testing. Although BES reluctantly agreed to Huawei’s demand, it later terminated its authorization access to the software systems after the Chinese company restricted its access to its testing laboratory.
The Chinese tech giant has neither returned the software systems nor uninstalled them yet despite agreeing to do so earlier.
Later, Huawei also pressurized BES to install its data-aggregation software in its testing laboratory, this time not merely for testing purposes but with full access to the Lahore Safe City project.
BES installed the software after Huawei claimed that the Pakistani government had granted it complete access to the Lahore Safe City project.
This is just one instance, the Californian company has accused Huawei of using its software systems in similar “Safe City” projects in Pakistan to create a backdoor to gain access, manipulate, and extract sensitive data important to Pakistan’s national security.