UK prohibits Chinese security cameras from “sensitive” locations



Leading Chinese surveillance firm Hikvision has refuted claims that it is a danger to British national security in the wake of the UK government’s prohibition on the installation of its camera systems at “critical” locations.

The limitations, which were made public on Thursday, will stop authorities from implementing technology made by firms governed by China’s National Intelligence Law, which obliges Chinese people and enterprises to work with the nation’s intelligence and security agencies.


The restrictions, announced Thursday, will

prevent authorities from installing technology that is produced by companies subject to China’s National Intelligence Law, which requires Chinese citizens and organizations to cooperate with the country’s intelligence and security services.


In a statement to CNN Business on Friday, Hikvision said it was “categorically false to represent Hikvision as a threat to national security.”


The company said it was hoping to engage with UK officials “urgently” to understand the decision, and had previously spoken with the UK government to clear up what it saw as misunderstandings about its business.


“Hikvision is an equipment manufacturer that has no visibility into end users’ video data,” the Hangzhou-based company said. “Hikvision cannot access end users’ video data and cannot transmit data from end-users to third parties. We do not manage end-user databases, nor do we sell cloud storage in the UK.”


Government departments have also been advised to consider whether to “remove and replace such equipment where it is deployed on sensitive sites rather than awaiting any scheduled upgrades,” he said.


The minister added that departments could review whether sites not deemed sensitive should also be taking similar measures.


The move comes months after UK lawmakers called for a ban on technology by Hikvision and Dahua, another Chinese surveillance camera maker, citing allegations that the firms had been involved in enabling human rights abuses against Uyghurs in Xinjiang


In a statement released in July by Big Brother Watch, a British nonprofit group that investigates the use of surveillance systems, 67 members of the UK parliament said the Chinese companies should be prohibited from selling their products in the country.


Big Brother Watch said at the time that it had “found that the majority of public bodies use CCTV cameras made by Hikvision or Dahua, including 73% of councils across the UK, 57% of secondary schools in England, 6 out of 10 National Health Service Trusts, as well as UK universities and police forces.”


Earlier this year, a UK health minister disclosed that there were 82 Hikvision products in use in his department.


Hikvision, in its statement, said its cameras were compliant with UK laws and “subject to strict security requirements.”


Dahua did not immediately respond to a request for comment

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