Top Huawei exec: government snooping is standard practice -

A senior Huawei executive has said he believes it's standard practice for governments to use the internet to spy and steal sensitive data. 

Making the bold claim is the company's head of security operations and ex CIO for the British government, John Suffolk, who told the Australian Financial Review that states had always embarked on such practices. 

His comments followed reports that the Chinese company had gained access to secret designs of US weapons, which it was alleged were taken from Australia's new intelligence agency headquarters.

Suffolk said spying was the "second-oldest profession" and pointed out that no one was "surprised that any government around the world is trying to find out what other governments around the world are doing".

The comments could reignite fears over using Huawei equipment,  which has been the subject of some controversy in the US in the name of national security.

In October last year the US House of Representatives' Intelligence Committee said that Huawei should be shut out of the US market because potential Chinese state influence poses a security threat.

Other countries have called on the EU to investigate the company for similar reasons.