FORTUNE -- Remember that 1995 Alanis Morissette song, "Ironic?" Well, here's another unexpected situation to add to the singer's long list of ironies: Huawei, the Chinese telecom equipment maker that has been blocked from the U.S. market because of concerns about its alleged ties to China's government, is now pushing for global cybersecurity standards.
The company has tried, unsuccessfully, to bid for several contracts in the U.S. But it's been shut out of the market because of government worries that letting it provide building blocks for key infrastructure would leave American networks susceptible to cyber-espionage. In response, Huawei has embarked on an immense lobbying and PR campaign that aims to prove its products don't pose a threat to U.S. networks. It has tried to make nice with corporate America by committing to shelling out more than $6 billion on processors and other components from Broadcom (BRCM), Qualcomm (QCOM), and other local companies. It has attempted to win the public's trust by showing more transparency from its leadership (including a recent Fortune interview with Guo Ping, acting CEO of the company). Now, in an effort to recast its image, it is also pushing for international players to collaborate on a set of security standards. The chief security officer for Huawei's U.S. operations, Andy Purdy, says, "It may seem counterintuitive, but I joined [the company] to help make global infrastructure more secure."
This week Huawei published a white paper advocating a wide set of security standards. In a forward to the report, Huawei's deputy chairman, Ken Hu, also sought to allay fears about the company. "We can confirm that we have never received any instructions or requests from any Government or their agencies to change our positions, policies, procedures, hardware, software or employment practices or anything else, other than suggestions to improve our end-to-end cyber security capability," Hu wrote. "We can confirm that we have never been asked to provide access to our technology, or provide any data or information on any citizen or organization to any Government, or their agencies."
The white paper, titled "Cyber Security Perspectives," calls on corporations and regulators to work together on setting global cybersecurity standards. To that end, Huawei has shared some of its own best practices and will soon release a list of 100 cybersecurity-related questions most frequently asked by its customers.
It's not clear how serious Huawei is on leading some kind of global security framework, or what steps it will take after publishing the white paper. But it's clear that Huawei is intent on entering the U.S. market one way or another.
Last spring several Huawei executives implied that the company was no longer interested in selling its wares in the U.S. That is not the case, says company spokesman William Plummer, who claims Huawei is the victim of unfair discrimination and protectionism in the U.S. The company had $35 billion in revenue last year but has insignificant share in the lucrative U.S. wireless market (while it's virtually banned from competing for network gear bids, it also sells handsets and various services). What's more, it still lacks brand recognition outside of its struggles with regulators.
That said, Huawei is patient, strategic, and deep-pocketed. While it's unlikely a white paper will swing the public's favor to Huawei's side, the company realizes that its political and public image battles won't be won overnight.
The first quantum key distribution network in the United States promises un-hackable data security.
By Clay Dillow
FORTUNE -- As revelations about the depth and breadth of the NSA's digital eavesdropping program continue to come to light, Ohio-based Battelle Memorial Institute is rolling out a new kind of network encryption designed to be virtually un-hackable -- not only now, but in the future. The non-profit research and development contractor has installed MOREOct 14, 2013 5:00 AM ET
A hacker calling himself "Mauritania Attacker" listed the names and some account information (no passwords) of 15,000 Twitter users. It's probably a good idea for users to clean up their apps.
FORTUNE -- A hack of Twitter exposing thousands of usernames and associated third-party access tokens appears not to have done any real damage, but it has made a lot of people realize how many third-party apps they have authorized, inspiring MOREDan Mitchell, contributor - Aug 20, 2013 3:28 PM ET
Kevin Mandia, who uncovered Chinese hacking, describes how he stumbled onto one of the largest domestic security breaches ever.
FORTUNE -- When 42-year-old Kevin Mandia went public last February with a 60-page report detailing the Chinese theft of American trade secrets, the move propelled his cybersecurity firm Mandiant to the forefront of a national security fire storm.
The story of how Mandia discovered one of America's largest security breaches ever -- and MOREJP Mangalindan, Writer - Jul 24, 2013 7:34 PM ET
Last's week's Twitter-fueled crash erased $136 billion in value in minutes, underscoring concerns about companies' use of social media.
By Verne Kopytoff
FORTUNE -- A fraudster hacks into a company's Twitter account and posts a phony announcement about sales reaching an all-time high. Shares in the company soar and then quickly crash after investors realize the news was merely a ruse to manipulate the stock price. Companies must, of course, be vigilant MOREApr 29, 2013 6:28 AM ET
More people are downloading software, watching video, and playing online games -- all boosting network provider Akamai's business.
FORTUNE -- Broadband speed in the United States jumped by 28% in 2012, according to Akamai's (AKAM) annual "State of the Internet" report issued this week. That trend helps explain why Akamai's first-quarter results, released late Wednesday, look so good.
Akamai manages and delivers Internet content for clients like News Corp. (NWSA), Facebook (FB), MOREDan Mitchell, contributor - Apr 25, 2013 2:46 PM ET
Hearings on the CISPA cybersecurity measure may be held as soon as next week - behind closed doors.
FORTUNE -- The House Intelligence Committee, possibly as early as next week, will discuss the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) for the second time. And for the second time, it will do so behind closed doors.
The bill is designed to make it easier for private companies to share the personal information of MOREDan Mitchell, contributor - Apr 5, 2013 2:10 PM ET
FORTUNE -- The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was created to catch terrorists after 9/11, but in its eight years its responsibilities have grown. Secretary Janet Napolitano must not only make airlines safe but also fight government hackers, control drug trafficking, and deport illegal immigrants. As President George W. Bush said in 2001, "Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there." For more on MORESep 6, 2011 5:00 AM ET
|Five things you didn't know about Bernie Madoff's epic scam|
|Teen millionaire helping Yahoo become cool again|
|Obamacare: 365,000 have signed up for insurance on exchanges|
|Stocks falter as budget deal raises taper risk|
|What the budget deal doesn't do|