The British Parliament told government departments on Thursday 24th November 2022 not to install surveillance cameras made by Chinese companies in its buildings. Chinese firms are allegedly reported to send sensitive data to China.
The government departments are instructed to disconnect Chinese cameras and replace them now rather than waiting to upgrade them.
Most of the security cameras that UK government departments used are made by Chinese firms Hikvision and Dahua.
UK Security Group has said that since companies in China have to comply with China’s national intelligence law, which requires them to cooperate with Beijing’s intelligence services, their security cameras should not be used inside government departments, Sky News reported.
A group of 67 British lawmakers proposed an immediate ban on devices made by the two partially state-owned companies (Hikvision and Dahua). They also cited privacy concerns and links to human rights abuses in Xinjiang, BBC reported.
British minister Oliver Dowden said in a written statement to parliament that the decision was taken following a review of “current and future possible security risks associated with the installation of visual surveillance systems on the government estate.”
“The review has concluded that, in light of the threat to the UK and the increasing capability and connectivity of these systems, additional controls are required,” Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Oliver Dowden said.
The Chancellor also said companies (Hikvision and Dahua) subject to China’s National Intelligence Law could be forced to hand over information to Beijing’s security services.
The existing surveillance cameras made by Chinese firms will be taken down from the government buildings. Government facilities and departments are also instructed to disconnect the cameras from all systems.
The United States had also imposed a ban on Chinese firms earlier. The US Government departments and organizations were ordered not to use any cameras made by Hikvision, Dahua, and other Chinese firms.
Hikvision said these allegations were “categorically false.”
“Hikvision cannot transmit data from end-users to third parties, we do not manage end-user databases, nor do we sell cloud storage in the UK,” Hikvision said in a statement on Thursday.
- Published on 25th November, 2022
- Written by Mayank Vikash
- Last updated Nov 25th, 2022