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Hikvision, Dahua feeling the squeeze as Australian audit removes cameras

Hikvision, Dahua feeling the squeeze as Australian audit removes cameras

Hikvision, Dahua feeling the squeeze as Australian audit removes cameras

SYDNEY – Hikvision and Dahua are off to a bad start in 2023 as sanctions from the prior year and accusations of human rights violations continue to produce repercussions for the Chinese telecoms.

In an audit released on Feb. 9, the Australian government found as many as 900 pieces of surveillance equipment manufactured by those companies were installed at government locations, on over 200 buildings, and in every department although numbers per department could not be verified. In an interview with Australian radio station 3AW, Senator James Paterson the Shadow Minister for Cyber Security and the Shadow Minister for Countering Foreign Interference said, “The first step is getting it rid of from all government sites. But I would urge all Australians to think carefully about whether or not their privacy, personal safety and security is being compromised by these devices. I certainly wouldn't have it in my home, and I don't recommend any Australian who's involved in national security, who's a politician, a journalist, an activist, an academic to have them anywhere near their homes either.”

It is a potentially devastating blow to the companies during a time of increased security tensions with China following the reveal of a surveillance balloon shot down in the United States this month. The U.S. already enacted harsh sanctions and bans on the telecoms last November. "As stated previously, Hikvision video security products present no security threat to the United States.” Hikvision said in a statement at the time. While they’ve assured multiple partners that their product’s data is not in possession of the Chinese government, they have been accused of human rights violations in providing surveillance camera equipment for the monitoring and suppression of Uighurs.

A result of the backlash from the sanctions and accusations has been Hikvision and Dahua’s removal from ISC West, the largest annual physical security event in North America, slated for Mar. 28-31 in Las Vegas. Similarly,  embattled telecom Huawei has turned to aggressively monetizing their patents to generate revenue in face of their sanctions.

Regardless of how those companies will fare in the coming months or how the Chinese government will respond to the allegations, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese made their official stance clear, “…we act in accordance with Australia's national interest. We do so transparently and that's what we'll continue to do.”


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