France was slated to sell two defense satellites to the United Arab Emirates in 2018,called 'Falcon Eye', but the sale might have to be voided due to the discovery that the equipment had 'backdoor' systems that would allow information to be intercepted.
The 'backdoor' system is suspected to have been placed there by covert action by a US entity, since the elements with the flaw are manufactured in the US.
The problem was discovered last September, and has given rise to a near rejection by the Emirates of the delivery if the problem is not addressed and eliminated.
French Airbus, the parent company that builds the satellite, did not comment on the situation, but they suspect that someone who is envious of the French-UAE deal has compromised the elements. The suspects are US, China and Russia, with most believing the US is behind the problem, since they are the country of manufacturing origin.
Some believe that it is the NSA that might have a hand in it. The reason why they believe this is because the US is the country with the most to gain in accessing information from the UAE.
The UAE are also considering alternatives to the French satellites from either Russia or China, but the problem of security would still subsist.
To some it seems counterintuitive that the US would sabotage its own technology by allowing such surveillance 'tricks' in components sold across the world. Or, the manufacturer might not have had knowledge of the sabotage. But such is the game of surveillance.
Source : France 24/ 1.7.14