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Australian Ministry of Defense removes Chinese-made cameras from its facilities

Australia’s Department of Defense will remove surveillance cameras manufactured by companies linked to the Chinese Communist Party from its buildings, Canberra announced today, after the United States and United Kingdom adopted similar measures.

According to the Australian press, at least 913 cameras, intercom panels, electronic entry systems and video recorders developed and manufactured by Chinese companies Hikvision and Dahua are currently used in Australian government and agency offices, including the Departments of Defense and the Foreign Relations and Trade.

Hikvision and Dahua are partially controlled by the Communist Party of China.

The Chinese Embassy in Australia did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The US government said last November that it would ban the use of telecommunications and video surveillance equipment from several prominent Chinese brands, including Hikvision and Dahua, in an effort to protect the country’s communications network.

Security cameras manufactured by Hikvision were also banned from British government premises in November.

Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles said his agency is evaluating all of its surveillance technology.

“We are going to remove these cameras specifically,” said Marles, quoted by the Australian Broadcasting Corp (ABC) television network. “There is a problem here and we are going to solve it,” he added.

An audit found that Hikvision and Dahua cameras and security equipment were found in almost all departments except the Agriculture department and the Prime Minister’s department.

The Australian War Memorial and National Disability Insurance Agency have said they will remove Chinese-made cameras from their premises, ABC reported.

Opposition Party Australian senator James Paterson said he began the audit six months ago across all federal agencies after the Home Affairs department failed to answer how many cameras, access control systems and intercoms were installed in buildings. from the government.

“We urgently need a plan to withdraw each of these devices from Australian government departments and agencies,” said Paterson.

Both companies are subject to China’s National Intelligence Law, which requires them to cooperate with Chinese intelligence agencies, he said.

“We have no way of knowing whether confidential information, images and audio collected by these devices are secretly being sent to China, against the interests of Australian citizens,” Paterson said.

*With Lusa

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