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British authorities have ordered the removal of Chinese security cameras

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The UK government has instructed its departments to stop installing Chinese-made security cameras in “sensitive” locations, citing security concerns.

In a written statement, Oliver Dowden, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, told MPs that new checks were needed following a review.

“Departments have been instructed to prevent such equipment from being deployed in sensitive locations where it is produced by companies subject to the National Intelligence Law of the People’s Republic of China,” they write.

“Because security concerns are always paramount around these sites, we are now taking action to prevent security threats.”

Dowden adds that departments should also ensure that no Chinese-made surveillance equipment is connected to the department’s core network. They should consider removing existing sites and whether some ‘non-sensitive’ sites should be subject to the same checks.

The concern hinges on the fact that companies like Hikvision and Dahua — whose cameras are widely installed outside government offices — are required by China’s 2017 national intelligence law to support national intelligence work.

Earlier this year, a group of politicians and MPs called on the government to ban the sale and use of devices from both companies in the UK. They said the products were widely used as a means of repression against the Muslim Uyghur population in China’s Xinjiang province – claims denied by the companies involved.

The companies’ products have already been banned in the US for similar reasons, with the government saying they have aided “repression, mass arbitrary detention and high-tech surveillance.”

Meanwhile, last year the European Parliament removed thermal cameras it used to check for Covid symptoms following similar complaints.

Campaign group Big Brother Watch applauds the government’s decision, but says it does not go far enough.

“The government’s decision to halt the deployment of Hikvision and Dahua surveillance equipment is an important first step, but the protections afforded to ministers and officials must be extended to all of us. Our investigation found that China’s state-owned CCTV is owned by . more than 60 percent is used by public entities,” said Madeleine Stone, legal and policy officer.

“Now that the government has accepted that these companies pose a risk to national security, they must protect the general public and ban Hikvision and Dahua from operating anywhere in the UK. It is unacceptable that the security and companies that pose a real risk to rights are allowed.” To work on British roads.”

Hikvision denies claims that it may be passing information to the Chinese government and claims it does not share data with third parties.

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