British government departments were ordered on Thursday (November 24th) to no longer install Chinese-made surveillance cameras on “sensitive sites“. This decision was announced against a backdrop of greater firmness displayed by London towards China and its companies for security reasons. Last week the government ordered a company belonging to this country to sell its shares in the main British semiconductor manufacturer.
According to civil liberties group Big Brother Watch, most British public bodies use CCTV cameras made by Chinese companies Hikvision or Dahua.
In July, a group of 67 MPs and Lords (members of the upper house) urged London to ban the sale and use of surveillance equipment produced by these two companies, some of which allegedly contributed to human rights abuses. the Uyghur minority in Xinjiang.
The government does not go so far as to outright ban these companies. But it discourages the use in the UK of “visual surveillance systemsmade by companies required by Beijing to share intelligence with Chinese security services.
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No such camera should be connected to “core networksdepartments and departments should consider replacing them rather than waiting for planned upgrades, according to UK officials.
A government inquiry concluded that, “in light of the threat to the UK and the increasing capacity and connectivity of these systems, additional checks were requiredMinister Oliver Dowden told Parliament.
“Ministries have therefore been instructed to cease the deployment of such equipment at sensitive sites, when produced by companies subject to the National Intelligence Law of the People’s Republic of China.“.