Continuing the story on Lenovo (HKG:0992) products being banned from some western countries’ classified networks, the Australian Financial Review, which originally reported on the ban, was able to confirm that the United Kingdom indeed has a formal ban on Lenovo products, while the Australian government announced that there is no ban in Australian networks.
In an original story, the Australian Financial Review claimed Lenovo computers are banned by defense networks in the U.S., Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. However, an announcement posted on the website of the Australian Government Department of Defense said the story is factually incorrect.
The Australian Financial Review published a follow-up to the story Thursday, claiming that the ban on the use of Lenovo computer products on classified networks in the United Kingdom has been confirmed by a senior Australian defense official, who in turn verified the formal ban with U.K. counterparts.
In response to the report, several U.K. government organizations, including GCHQ, which is Britain’s electronic intelligence gathering agency, the Ministry of Defense, and the Home Office have steadfastly “refused to confirm or deny” the presence of the ban to U.K. journalists, according to the Australian Financial Review.
Australian officials also confirmed on Wednesday that Lenovo computers are no longer used at the the Defense Signals Directorate (DSD), colloquially known as the Factory, despite earlier denying the existence of a “Department of Defense” level ban.
In 2005, Lenovo acquired IBM’s personal computer business. The BBC reported in 2006 that the U.S. State Department had decided to forego using 16,000 computers it bought from Lenovo, as experts had recommended the computers “be utilized on unclassified systems only.” The department was also going to “alter its procurement process to ensure U.S. information security was guaranteed.”