The British government has instructed its various departments not to erect security cameras with ties to China at their facilities. The decision was made in response to reports that these companies pose security risks as part of a cyber strategy used by China.
A evaluation of ‘present and potential security dangers linked with the installation of visual surveillance equipment on the government estate,’ according to Cabinet Office Minister Oliver Dowden’s written declaration to parliament, led to the decision. In light of the threat to the UK and the growing capabilities and connection of these systems, the assessment has decided that new controls are necessary, according to Dowden, according to Reuters.
Such a restriction has already been put into effect in the United States, where government agencies have been told not to employ any cameras produced by Hikvision, Dahua, or other Chinese companies. Hikvision and Dahua, two Chinese companies, have long been accused of receiving preferential treatment from the Chinese government, and in recent months, some UK lawmakers have called for an outright ban.
According to Sky News, the evaluation provided by Dowden stated: ‘Departments have thus been directed to halt deploying such equipment onto sensitive facilities, when it is made by businesses subject to the National Intelligence Law of the People’s Republic of China’.
The statement provided to the lawmakers said, ‘Since security concerns are always first around these installations, we are taking steps now to avoid any security threats from materialising’. The departments have also been directed to unplug them from all systems. The government will immediately remove any existing cameras produced by these corporations from its buildings.