Mon. Mar 27th, 2023

Australia’s Defence Department will remove surveillance cameras made by Chinese Communist Party-linked companies from its buildings, the government said according to a report in the Australian newspaper Canberra Times. The announcement comes after similar moves from the US and the UK. According to the report, at least 913 cameras, intercoms, electronic entry systems and video recorders developed and manufactured by Chinese companies Hikvision and Dahua are in Australian government and agency offices, including the Defence Department and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Hikvision and Dahua are partly owned by China’s Communist Party-ruled government.
Australian Defense minister on the ban
Australian defense minister Richard Marles said that his department is assessing all its surveillance technology. “Where those particular cameras are found, they’re going to be removed,” Marles told Australian Broadcasting Corp. “There is an issue here and we’re going to deal with it,” Marles added. According to the report, an audit revealed that Hikvision and Dahua cameras and security equipment were found in almost every department except the Agriculture Department and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Opposition cybersecurity spokesman James Paterson told the paper that he had prompted the audit by asking questions over six months of each federal agency. “We urgently need a plan from the … government to rip every one of these devices out of Australian government departments and agencies,” Paterson said. “We would have no way of knowing if the sensitive information, images and audio collected by these devices are secretly being sent back to China against the interests of Australian citizens,” Paterson said. He claimed that almost 1000 surveillance cameras and other recording devices are installed across government buildings, many of these are the ones that are banned by the United States and Britain. He termed the spread of Chinese surveillance devices as a serious issue of national security.
Banned in the US and UK
In November 2022, the US government banned telecommunications and video surveillance equipment from several Chinese brands including Hikvision and Dahua in an effort “to protect the nation’s communications network.” Security cameras made by Hikvision were also banned from government buildings in the UK in the same month.

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Tanushree K

By Tanushree


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