Overseas Alarm Over Chinese Surveillance Cameras Fail To Stop Sales In OZ
State and Federal politicians appear to be taking no notice of concerns in the UK and the USA, that Chinese surveillance cameras widely used by local councils and government departments in Australia are being labelled a major security risk.
The cameras manufactured by Hikvision and Dahua are widely sold in Australia with Melbourne based distributor CR Kennedy the distributor for a wide range of Dahua cameras.
Hikvision and Dahua have both been blacklisted by the US over Beijing’s use of their equipment in the repression of Uyghur Muslims in China but despite this major Companies and Government departments in Australia are still purchasing the Chinese cameras.
According to Clem Kennedy a director at CR Kennedy the Dahua range of cameras are still on several Government and local council tender lists.
When asked whether CR Kennedy had had, any approaches from politicians concerning the Chinese manufactured camera he said “No”.
ChannelNews understands that Hikvision has already been taken off tender lists with various local councils, as well as State & Federal Government departments.
In the UK overnight, MPs and peers from across the political spectrum have called on Boris Johnson to ban on ethical grounds the sale and use of surveillance equipment in the UK from the two camera Companies.
The 67 signatories range from right wing Tory MPs Steve Baker and David Davis, through Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey to left-wingers including former shadow chancellor John McDonnell and Green MP Caroline Lucas.
In July last year the House of Commons foreign affairs select committee published a report calling for a nationwide ban on both companies’ equipment.
“Cameras made by the Chinese firm Hikvision have been deployed throughout Xinjiang and provide the primary camera technology used in the internment camps,” the report said.
Various reports have linked the two companies with human rights violations in China.
Hikvision accused anti-CCTV “fringe groups” of “demonising” the company.
Observers in the UK claim that there is no evidence yet of the Chinese state using these companies to gather data abroad.
“It is horrifying that companies that provide the technological infrastructure for Beijing’s crimes against humanity provide cameras to 61 per cent of public bodies in the UK” Jake Hurfurt, head of research, at the UK Big Brother Watch claimed.
David Davis, a former Brexit secretary, said he had long campaigned against the “worrying creep” of the surveillance state.
“The US has already blacklisted the companies. We need to be in step with our international partners and should also look to ban invasive and oppressive technology from these firms,” he said.
The FT reported last year that UK intelligence agencies were increasingly anxious about councils’ use of the Chinese technology amid concerns that Beijing could use the footage for espionage, surveillance, or collection of sensitive data.
Dahua claim that they follow all applicable local, national, and international laws and would never develop solutions targeting any specific ethnic group.
The Chinese government holds that its activities in Xinjiang are “counter-terrorism” measures and that its mass internment facilities are for “re-education.”