Due to national security concerns, Australia will remove surveillance cameras made in China from defence sites.
An examination revealed that the government had installed 900 pieces of surveillance technology made by Hikvision and Dahua.
Concerned that the Chinese government could gain access to data from the devices, the United Kingdom and the United States took similar action last year.
These concerns, according to Hikvision, are unwarranted. When asked for comment, Dahua has been silent.
More than 200 buildings across nearly every government agency in Australia were discovered to have cameras and other security equipment, according to the audit.
The number of units in defence facilities is unknown, although at least one was discovered there as well.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Richard Marles stated Thursday that the government will locate any hidden cameras in military installations and remove them to ensure the sites were “totally safe.”
He stated, “I don’t think we should overstate [the importance]…. but it’s a big problem that’s been brought to our attention and we’re going to rectify it.” He also noted that the devices predated his time in office.
Mark Dreyfus, the Attorney General, has stated that the government will investigate whether or not cameras in other government buildings should be disabled as well.
James Paterson, Shadow Minister for Cyber Security, who commissioned the investigation, confirms that they do.
He claimed that Australia has “no way” of knowing whether or not information gathered by the devices is being shared with Chinese espionage agencies.
A Chinese court could order a private company or an individual to “help, aid, and cooperate with the state intelligence work” under the country’s national security statute.
For “moral” reasons, Senator Paterson stated, Australia should not be backing Hikvision and Dahua. According to him, these firms have been closely linked to the alleged human rights abuses and widespread surveillance of Uyghurs in Xinjiang.
Hikvision has stated that claims making them a national security risk are “categorically incorrect.”
“No credible technical institution or evaluation has reached this judgement,” the spokeswoman stated.
According to her, the corporation claims it cannot access end-users’ video data and, as a result, cannot share it with outside parties.
However, due to security concerns, the United Kingdom banned the installation of new Dahua and Hikvision surveillance cameras on “critical sites” in November. They also promised to consider taking out any current monitoring equipment.
A few days later, the United States placed an embargo on five Chinese businesses’ exports and imports of new communications equipment.
Even if the Chinese government objects, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese claims he is unconcerned. “Our decisions are based on what is best for Australia as a whole. We have always operated in an open and honest manner and will continue to do so “he revealed to the press
In 2018, Beijing barred Huawei from its 5G network, which led to China imposing taxes and quotas on a number of Australian products, including coal, lobsters, and wine.
But since the center-left government took office in May of 2022, things have been looking up.