Security is a top concern for the majority of school systems. Congress took action with respect to some of these concerns with the NDAA (John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019). This law prohibits the purchase or use of specific video surveillance vendors, as well as system vendors and component suppliers.
The NDAA now prohibits any government agencies from buying or contracting to buy “telecommunications equipment” produced by:
- Huawei Technologies Company
- ZTE Corporation
Or video surveillance equipment produced by:
- Hytera Communications Corporation
- Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Company
- Dahua Technology Company
It also prohibits the purchase of any equipment produced by an entity owned, or believed to be controlled by the Chinese government.
The NDAA ban extends to other vendors or manufacturers if the surveillance cameras and/or system is offered under another brand name but controlled by one of these vendors, as well.
Furthermore, the NDAA also bans any “essential component of any system” as well as “ critical technology as part of the system” from the listed manufacturers. It can be reasonably assumed that this includes SoC or System on a Chip supplied by the mentioned vendors. This is an embedded processor that is capable of executing various software commands and used in a variety of surveillance cameras.
Authorities feel that employing these specific equipment vendors or manufacturers in the United States can leave a back door open to the Chinese military or government agencies.
How Does the NDAA Affect Schools?
A provision in this legislation bans the recipients of any federal funding from using any of the telecommunications equipment described previously. This includes video surveillance, video recording, and/or any networking services provided by these vendors.
In the simplest of language: United States universities, schools, or any other entity that currently receives federal funding that chooses not to comply with the NDAA by August of 2020, they could risk losing federal grants or funding.
Several universities and institutions are now in the process of reviewing their telecommunications equipment.
For some institutions, such as Berkley, Huawei is not only a vendor but a sponsor for several research programs. The NDAA only bans research that would involve trade secrets. Any open-source research shouldn’t be subject to these new federal regulations. However, the NDAA still strictly forbids the use of any products specific to the mentioned companies, if used for security purposes, regardless of how much they fund institution research.
The Future of Video Surveillance in the U.S.
Is your company, school, or institution currently in the process of finding a security provider or installing video surveillance systems? We don’t see this law going away. In fact, we believe this will be strictly enforced by the government in the days to come. Even if you do not currently receive federal funding, if you plan to apply for a grant in the future, or if you feel as though the opportunity to receive federal funding could be an option, we highly suggest avoiding these vendors.
The employment of video surveillance and security systems is a process and a long term investment. Does it make sense to use your hard earned money to fund something that could potentially be obsolete in the next few years? No.
All of Homeland Safety Systems products, including those listed on the US government GSA schedule #GS-07F-063-BA, are compliant with the NDAA. View our NDAA compliant cameras.
At Homeland Safety Systems, we use our own products. We manufacture and install equipment produced under our brand name. Therefore our products will not be affected by the NDAA’s ban.
For more information on school surveillance, check out our posts: Why Schools Need Intelligent Video Surveillance Solutions and Four Reasons Why Your School Should Have Video Surveillance.
Are You Accepting Bids For Security Equipment?
If you are currently accepting bids for security equipment or the installation of such, don’t be fooled by false promises that vendors aren’t sure they can keep.
The following is a list of vendors and manufacturers banned under the bill HR 5515 according to:
SEC. 889. <<NOTE: 41 USC 3901 note prec.>> PROHIBITION ON CERTAIN TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND VIDEO SURVEILLANCE SERVICES OR EQUIPMENT.
|ADI Global Distribution||Interlogiz||LTS Video Solutions for Security Professionals||2M Technology|
|W Box Technologies||3x Logic||Abus Security Tech Germany||ActiveCam|
|Adj Fire and Security Ltd.||Advidia||Alarm.com||Alibi|
|Allnet||Ameta International Co. Ltd.||Anaveo||Annke|
|Cantek+||CCTv Star||Dery Tech||DMP|
|DSS||Dunlop||DVR Unlimited||Elisa Live|
|GNS||Grundig||GVS||HES Supply Corm|
|Hunt Electronic||Infinite Pixels||Inko Video||In Nekt|
|InVid Tech||JFL Alarmes||JLinks Technology||KT&C|
|La View Easy Security Life||LTv||Matrix Security Solutions||Micro View|
|Nelly’s Security||Norelco safeCAM||Northern||Novi Cam|
|OCO||Onix||People FU||Power Technology Inc|
|Sentry Security Systems Inc||Siqura||Snap Av||Space Technology|
|Swann||Syscom||Tantos||The Burns Tech|
|Bosch||Cantek+||CCTV Security Pros||CCTV Star|
|CP Plus||Dotix||DH Vision||DVR Unlimited|
|E-Line||Expose Security & Electronic||Fir||Lorex by Flir|
|GSS||Honeywell||HQ Vision||IC Realtime|
|Impath Networks||Inaxsys||Indigo Vision||Infinity CCTV|
|In Nekt||Intelbras||KB Vision||Legrand|
|RVi||Savvy Tech Security||Saxco||Security Camera King|
|Security Tronix||Speco Technologies||Tech Pro||Tough Dog Security|
|Holis Tyco||Illustra Tyco||Ura||VIP Vision|
|Watashi CCTV Security System||Winic|
As a buyer, if you are considering these brands for your business, please note that you are putting the facility’s privacy and security at risk, including everyone inside. The NDAA now considers the brands above to be banned. You will begin to see an increase in difficulty to purchase these products, and furthermore, to have these products serviced, if something does go wrong.
Security vendors are aware of this ban and might be trying to clear out current inventory or simply make a quick sale. It is your job, as the purchaser, to exercise due diligence before you purchase them or have them installed into your facility. At Homeland Safety Systems, we aim to not only provide the best service possible but also to educate our customers on the importance of the long term value that we are able to offer.