Australia's Defense Department announced it would follow similar moves by the United States and United Kingdom and remove video surveillance equipment manufactured by Hikvision and Dahua Technologies from its buildings.
“I don't think we should overstate [the seriousness], but it’s a significant thing that’s been brought to our attention and we’re going to fix it,” Defense Minister Richard Marles told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.
At least 913 cameras, intercoms, electronic entry systems and video recorders developed and manufactured by the two Chinese companies are in Australian government and agency offices, including the Defense Department and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
An audit found that Hikvision and Dahua cameras, among other video surveillance equipment, were found in almost every department except the Agriculture Department and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. The Australian War Memorial and National Disability Insurance Agency said they would remove the Chinese cameras found at their sites, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported.
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The U.S. government said in November it was banning telecommunications and video surveillance equipment from several prominent Chinese brands including Hikvision and Dahua in an effort to protect the nation's communications network. Security cameras made by Hikvision were also banned from British government buildings in November.
Hikvision and Dahua — the world’s two largest manufacturers of video surveillance equipment — are partly owned by China’s Communist Party-ruled government. Many of the bans on the two companies’ technology stem from concerns that the state will exploit its position to access sensitive information collected by the companies.
As of November 2021, more than 6 million Hikvision and Dahua security camera networks were detected across 191 countries outside of China, according to top10vpn.com.