US prosecutors used FISA warrant to gather info on Huawei

Federal prosecutors investigating Chinese tech giant Huawei engaged in covert surveillance of the controversial company that they say they plan to use as evidence in upcoming criminal proceedings.

Reuters reported Thursday that U.S. Attorney Alex Solomon told a judge Thursday in New York that the evidence against Huawei would require classified handling as it was obtained under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

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According to Solomon, the evidence was “obtained or derived from electronic surveillance and physical search,” but he reportedly gave no other details.

Under investigation is Huawei's relationship with Skycom Tech Co Ltd, a company suspected by U.S. authorities to be a front for Huawei's efforts to obtain embargoed U.S. goods for sale in Iran, thereby violating U.S. sanctions put in place following the collapse of the Iran nuclear agreement.

The company also pleaded not guilty last month to the attempted theft of U.S. trade secrets. The Trump administration has banned Huawei technology from use by the U.S. government over accusations that its phones and other devices can be accessed by Chinese intelligence services, which Huawei has denied.

“The U.S. government has a loser’s attitude. It wants to smear Huawei because it cannot compete against Huawei,” company chairman Guo Ping said last Friday.

Meng Wanzhou, the company's chief financial officer, is also implicated in the criminal proceedings and is currently battling a request from the Trump administration to extradite her following her arrest in Canada this year.

Wanzhou has maintained that her arrest was illegal, and that Canadian authorities questioned her as she attempted to pass through customs without explaining the accusations against her.

"We are a country governed by the rule of law. Canada is conducting a fair, unbiased, and transparent legal proceeding with respect to the arrest of Ms. Meng Wanzhou," Canada's Office of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness said earlier this month.