The U.S. authorities gathered information about Huawei through secret surveillance that they plan to use in a case accusing the Chinese telecom equipment maker of sanctions-busting and bank fraud, prosecutors said on Thursday, reports Reuters.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex Solomon said at a hearing in federal court in Brooklyn that the evidence, obtained under the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), would require classified handling.
The government notified Huawei in a court filing on Thursday of its intent to use the information, saying it was “obtained or derived from electronic surveillance and physical search,” but gave no details.
The US government has been pressuring other countries to drop Huawei from their cellular networks, worried that its equipment could be used by Beijing for spying. The company says the concerns are unfounded.
Brian Frey, a former federal prosecutor who is not involved in the Huawei case, said FISA surveillance, which requires a warrant from a special court, is generally sought in connection with suspected espionage.
“The reason they typically would have gotten the surveillance through a FISA court is where we suspect someone may be spying on behalf of a foreign power,” Frey said.
The U.S. government has been concerned about espionage by Huawei for years, he added.