Australia to remove Chinese Cameras
After the US and Britain made comparable actions, the Australian government announced on Thursday that the Defense Department will remove surveillance cameras on its premises made by companies affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party as their equipment had been used to spy on Uyghurs in Xinjiang. The Defense Department and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade are just two of the Australian government and agency offices that have at least 913 cameras, intercoms, electronic entry systems, and video recorders developed and produced by Chinese firms Hikvision and Dahua.
The businesses that produced the cameras, Hikvision and Dahua, have both been placed on a United States blacklist. The government of China, which is run by the Communist Party, owns a portion of Hikvision and Dahua. An inquiry for comment was not immediately answered by the Chinese Embassy in Australia. China’s common approach to such actions is to defend its high-tech businesses as law-abiding citizens who do not participate in government or party intelligence gathering but rather uphold all local laws.
Fears that Chinese businesses would be coerced to share intelligence with Beijing’s security services prompted Britain to take action in November of last year. According to official statistics provided by an opposition lawmaker, the security cameras were installed in more than 200 Australian government sites, including at least one managed by the Department of Defense.
Officials would locate and take down all of these cameras at military facilities, according to Australian Minister of Defense Richard Marles. He informed the d national network ABC that “that’s a big item that’s been brought to our attention and we’re going to rectify it.” He also said that “We must complete this procedure and ensure that our facilities are secure.”
James Paterson, a spokesman for the opposition’s cybersecurity team, claimed that his inquiries to each federal agency over months prompted the audit after the Home Affairs Department was unable to specify the number of cameras, access control systems, and intercoms that were installed in government buildingsToto remove each and every one of these devices from Australian government departments and agencies, Paterson urged the government to come up with a plan immediately.
He claimed that both businesses have to work with Chinese intelligence organizations in accordance with the National Intelligence Law of China. In order to protect the interests of Australian residents, Paterson stated, “we would have no way of knowing if the sensitive information, photos, and audio gathered by these devices was discreetly transferred back to China.”
Since taking office in May of last year, Australia’s center-left government has worked to mend relations with China. In the midst of a contentious conflict with the previous conservative administration, China levied significant tariffs on important Australian exports in 2020.
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