Australia will take down Chinese-made cameras from official buildings

Australia will take down Chinese-made cameras from official buildings

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In Britain, a group of 67 MPs and lords called for the government to ban Hikvision and Dahua in July last year, following reports their equipment had been used to spy on Uyghurs in Xinjiang.

The country’s defense minister announced on Thursday that Australia would remove Chinese-made security cameras from public buildings because it was essential to making them “completely secure.”

It follows similar moves in the United States and Britain, which have both taken measures to stop government departments from installing Chinese-made cameras at sensitive sites.

Fears that Chinese businesses would be coerced to share intelligence with Beijing’s security services prompted Britain to take action in November of last year.

According to official statistics provided by an opposition lawmaker, the security cameras were installed in more than 200 Australian government sites, including at least one managed by the Department of Defence.

Officials would locate and remove all of these cameras at military sites, according to Australian Minister of Defense Richard Marles.

“It’s a significant thing that’s been brought to our attention and we’re going to fix it,” he told national broadcaster ABC.

“It’s important that we go through this exercise and make sure that our facilities are completely secure.”
The cameras were made by companies Hikvision and Dahua, which have both been blacklisted in the United States.
The US banned the importation of surveillance equipment made by Hikvision and Dahua in November last year because it posed “an unacceptable risk to national security”.

In Britain, a group of 67 MPs and lords called for the government to ban Hikvision and Dahua in July last year, following reports their equipment had been used to spy on Uyghurs in Xinjiang.
It was a Hikvision camera that caught former health secretary Matt Hancock kissing an aide in violation of Covid rules in June 2021, leading to his resignation.

Hikvision has previously said it was “categorically false” to paint the company as “a threat to national security”.

Australia’s center-left government has been trying to repair its relationship with China since coming to power in May last year.
China slapped hefty tariffs on key Australian exports in 2020 at the height of a bitter dispute with the former conservative government.

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