Australia to purge Chinese-made cameras from its Defense Department

Australia to purge Chinese-made cameras from its Defense Department

Sydney/Hong Kong

Australia’s Department of Defense will remove Chinese-made cameras from its offices for spying reasons, the country’s Defense Minister Richard Marles has said.

The concerns were raised by Senator James Paterson of the opposition Liberal Party, who said on Wednesday he had conducted an “audit” of Chinese-made security devices used on Australian government premises.

The audit found 913 devices, including cameras, access control systems and intercoms, made by Chinese state-owned companies Hikvision and Dahua, Paterson noted.

“These companies have a very close relationship with the Chinese Communist Party and are subject to China’s national intelligence laws, which require all Chinese companies and individuals to secretly cooperate with Chinese intelligence agencies upon request,” Paterson said. in a radio interview Wednesday.

“There have been vulnerabilities identified with these cameras in the past where third parties could take full control of them and obtain the audio and video they collect.”

Defense Minister Marles replied: “I don’t think we should exaggerate [the seriousness]but it is an important thing that has been brought to our attention and we are going to fix it.

In a separate radio interview, Marles said his department was “performing an assessment of all surveillance technologies within the defense domain.” And where those particular cameras are, they will be deleted.

Asked about the Australian government’s concerns about cameras made in China, a spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry in Beijing said that China opposes “the generalization of national security, the abuse of power by the State and acts that discriminate against and suppress Chinese companies”.

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