Is a report in the Australian Financial Review about spy agencies banning Lenovo PC purchases due to security concerns falling apart? Could be.
One official government statement disputes the story.
Australia’s Department of Defence refuted the newspaper report in an official statement posted on its website:
“Media articles in the Australian Financial Review, 27 and 29 July 2013
“Reports published on 27 and 29 July 2013 in the Australian Financial Review allege a Department of Defence ban on the use of Lenovo computer equipment on the Defence Secret and Top Secret Networks.
“This reporting is factually incorrect. There is no Department of Defence ban on the Lenovo Company or their computer products; either for classified or unclassified systems.”
Lenovo immediately seized upon the statement, offered no additional details but did send it to media outlets that had picked up the Financial Review story.
“Lenovo has no additional comment on recent reports in the Australia Financial Review,” wrote Brion Tingler, director of Global Media Relations for Lenovo from his New York City office.
“We would like to point out the public statement by the Australia Department of Defence available on their web site that says “This reporting is factually incorrect. There is no Department of Defence ban on the Lenovo Company or their products; either for classified or unclassified systems.”
“Please see a link to the correction on the official website of the Australian Department of Defence here: http://news.defence.gov.au/2013/07/30/media-articles-in-the-australian-financial-review-27-and-29-july-2013/
“We would appreciate it if you could update your previous reporting on this topic.”
WRALTechWire reached out to Lenovo for comment about the report and did not publish a story until receiving a response from Ray Gorman, one of its top media relations executives. He is based in Morrisville.
His statement, which we published Tuesday:
“We have not received word of any sort of a restriction of sales so we are not in a position to respond to this question,” Gorman said in a statement when asked about the story.
“Lenovo continues to have a strong relationship with government customers, so the claims being made are new to us.
“We are looking into this situation closely and we’ll be sure to share updates when available.”
The Australian newspaper claimed the “five eyes” of security agencies from the U.S. to Australia have refused to buy Lenovo PCs due to security concerns, the world’s No. 1 PC maker says it knows of no such restrictions.
The “five eyes” refers to security agencies in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, New Zealand and Australia.
The report triggered global coverage.
It will be interesting to see how the same publications that headlined the Financial Review story without obtaining Lenovo’s reaction will respond to the latest report.