As of Monday, October 7, 2019, the Bureau of Industry and Security of the Department of Commerce announced that it will blacklist 28 Chinese organizations, including Hikvision and Dahua Technology.
This decision came shortly after President Trump signed an executive order that effectively barred U.S. firms from either buying or selling any telecom equipment to firms like Huawei that are deemed to pose as national security risks. According to the New York Times, these products allow clients to track people based on facial features, body characteristics, and speech monitoring on a highly intrusive level. In 2017, one company removed hundreds of Hikvision and Dahua cameras and found a “back door” in the devices. Upon further investigation, it was found that company information had been trafficked off-site via the cameras to an unknown Chinese IP address.
These organizations have also been punished due to their association with human rights abuses and violations. A New York Times investigation revealed an unreported policing app used by Chinese authorities in a region that is home to the country’s Uighur population, a Turkish ethnic group that is largely Muslim. The Chinese government has confined hundreds of thousands of Uighur’s to re-education camps and oversees an all-encompassing video surveillance system that uses facial recognition technology to instill fear in residents.
According to a statement made by The Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, “The U.S. Government and Department of Commerce cannot and will not tolerate the brutal suppression of ethnic minorities within China. This action will ensure that our technologies, fostered in an environment of individual liberty and free enterprise, are not used to repress defenseless minority populations.”
As of October 14, 2019, ONVIF Suspends Dahua and Hikvision. A suspension from ONVIF(Open Network Video Interface Forum) means the companies will no longer have access to members-only forums, tools, specifications and documents by ONVIF.
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