Governments are entitled to their concerns, whatever they may be. Under a democratic system, there is nothing more sacred than a citizen's right to expect that their security will never be knowingly compromised by those they elected.
The interesting question for me is when you have a company like Huawei which is increasingly leading and defining the telecom industry’s future technology roadmap, at what point does a country’s global competitiveness start to be hindered by denying its service providers access to a major technology leader? And at what point does throttling back on competitiveness actually become a greater national security risk than the risk supposedly posed by the presence in the network of a Chinese vendor?
You might argue that Verizon's networks seems to be doing perfectly well in delivering leading wireline and wireless services without Huawei, thank you very much. In wireless, for example, Verizon is the world leader in 4G LTE deployment as well as in ARPU projections, for goodness sake.
But project that five or ten years further out and how competitive will Verizon remain if it only sticks with its current suppliers? Just as importantly, how can Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile be expected to stay competitive in the interests of American businesses and consumers unless they’re able to have access to all the best network technology?
However legitimate the motivations of the politicians and the spooks, it seems to me that the balance of risk is bound to shift over time. Last October Heavy Reading published a report looking at the lengths to which the world's largest vendors, most notably Huawei and NSN, are going to demonstrate their security credentials. http://www.heavyreading.com/details.asp?sku_id=2613&skuitem_itemid=1288&promo_code=&aff_code=&next_url=%2Flist%2Easp%3Fpage%5Ftype%3Dall%5Freports. Interestingly, the only major vendor that refused to contribute to the report was Cisco, citing reasons of, ahem, "security". Go figure. It's a funny thing this security business….