The British government was told on Thursday to halt installing surveillance cameras produced in China at “critical places.”
On security concerns, the government is acting more aggressively against China and its firms. It ordered a Chinese-owned corporation to sell the majority of Britain’s largest semiconductor manufacturer, Newport Wafer Fab, last week.
According to Big Brother Watch, the majority of British public institutions utilize CCTV cameras manufactured by Hikvision or Dahua.
In July, 67 MPs and lords asked London to restrict the sale and use of surveillance technology manufactured by the two businesses, whose goods were allegedly complicit in human rights violations against the Uyghur minority in Xinjiang.
The latest government directive fell short of a complete ban on the firms.
However, it prohibited the use in the United Kingdom of “visual surveillance systems” manufactured by Chinese companies obligated by law to share information with Beijing’s security forces.
According to the report, such cameras should not be linked to “key networks” at government agencies, and ministries should consider replacing them instead of waiting for planned updates.
A government investigation found that “in light of the danger to the United Kingdom and the expanding capabilities and interconnectedness of these systems, new controls are necessary,” according to senior minister Oliver Dowden’s statement to parliament.
“Departments have therefore been instructed to cease deployment of such equipment on to sensitive sites, where it is produced by companies subject to the national intelligence law of the People’s Republic of China.”
Some specific UK ministries have already removed Hikvision equipment when one of the company’s cameras showed then-health minister Matt Hancock kissing an assistant in June 2021, in breach of Covid regulations. He was compelled to step down.