Over a third of police forces in the UK are using surveillance cameras made by companies with ties to the communist Chinese government, thereby endangering Britain’s national security, the surveillance watchdog has claimed.
The government’s independent biometrics and surveillance camera commissioner Fraser Sampson has called for police forces to begin phasing out and replacing surveillance equipment made by Chinese companies such as Hikivision and DJI, both of which are mandated by law to share intelligence with the communist government in Beijing.
Speaking to the Times of London, Sampson said: “I’d liken this situation to digital asbestos because these systems have been widely installed by a previous generation with proper motives, largely on the basis that they were cheap and got the job done. Now we know they bring significant risk we should probably stop installing any more until we understand the depth and breadth of those risks. And then we should set up a timeline for assessment and, if appropriate, removal or replacement.”
Chinese Geolocating Device Found in UK Govt Car Used to Transport Senior Politicians: Report
The report comes just days after the UK’s independent ‘snooping’ watchdog, Fraser Sampson warned that over one in three police forces in Britain are using Chinese surveillance technology with potential backdoors for the communist government, therefore representing a security threat to the country.
A Chinese geolocating tracking device was reportedly discovered in a British government car that would be used by high-level officials including cabinet ministers, raising further concerns about Chinese espionage in the UK.
A serving member of the British intelligence community told the paper: “It [the tracking SIMs] gives the ability to survey government over a period of months and years, constantly filing movements, constantly building up a rich picture of activity.
“You can do it slowly and methodically over a very, very long time. That’s the vulnerability.”
UK Police and now Military Bases - Eyes ON
Chinese spy cameras are being trained on British Army bases
A Mail on Sunday investigation discovered CCTV cameras – which have also been banned by the US military amid concerns they could be used to send vital data back to Beijing's spies – at numerous military sites, including barracks for elite troops who guard the King.
Our exclusive photographs show the devices made by Hikvision and Dahua – companies controlled by the Chinese Communist party – trained on the entrances of barracks where they record the comings and goings of soldiers, officers and equipment.