UK Government bans Chinese security cameras over piracy concerns

The new policy applies to "visual surveillance systems" made by firms required by Chinese law to co-operate with Beijing's security services.
UK Government bans Chinese security cameras over piracy concerns

The UK Government departments have been told to stop installing surveillance cameras made by Chinese companies on "sensitive sites" because of security concerns. The government announced the move amid concerns among MPs about the use of such equipment.

The new policy applies to "visual surveillance systems" made by firms required by Chinese law to co-operate with Beijing's security services.

Officials have been told to consider removing existing equipment entirely. They have also been instructed that such surveillance systems should not be connected to departmental core networks.

In light of the threat to the UK and the increasing capability and connectivity of these systems, additional controls are required
the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Oliver Dowden told MPs in a written statement.

He said these in relation to the equipment produced by companies subject to China's national intelligence law, which says organisations must "support, co-operate with, and collaborate in national intelligence work".

Since security considerations are always paramount around these sites, we are taking action now to prevent any security risks materialising.
Mr Dowden states.

Asked why the government was not ordering the replacement of all existing surveillance equipment made by Chinese companies, a spokeswoman for the prime minister said the issue was "under constant review and this is a preventative step that's been taken in line with that approach".

The move is a response to concerns raised by MPs and a surveillance watchdog, who warned in June that the public surveillance infrastructure had been built on "digital asbestos".

BBC News

The government's independent biometrics and surveillance camera commissioner Fraser Sampson said: "Almost every aspect of our lives is now under surveillance using advanced systems designed by, and purchased from, companies under the control of other governments, governments to whom those companies have data-sharing obligations within their own domestic legal framework."

He said this meant there was a need both for "considerable caution when handling the products installed by a previous generation and, as a priority, a moratorium on any further installation until we fully understand the risks we have created".

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