UK bans Chinese cameras from government buildings

The U.K. is restricting Chinese-made surveillance equipment from sensitive sites including government buildings, based on a government review of security risks. 

“The review has concluded that, in light of the threat to the U.K. and the increasing capability and connectivity of these systems, additional controls are required,” said Cabinet office minister Oliver Dowden in a statement to Parliament. 

The cameras are “produced by companies subject to the National Intelligence Law of the People’s Republic of China,” Dowden added. 

The British government has advised departments to disconnect Chinese surveillance equipment from departmental core networks, and remove and replace it without waiting for upgrades.

Last summer British politicians called for a ban on the use of surveillance cameras from Chinese companies Hikvision and Dahua, over security risks. The companies’ products have been linked to mass surveillance and human rights abuses in China’s Xinjiang region. A majority of the U.K.’s public sector CCTV networks use Hikvision and Dahua, according to a report from privacy advocacy group Big Brother Watch.

The U.K. government is advising departments to consider whether Chinese surveillance equipment should be banned from areas “outside the definition of sensitive sites” to further mitigate risk.

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