London [UK]Aug 12 (ANI): As soon as the UK decided to ban China’s Huawei telecommunications from its 5G telecommunications networks, the debate over the security threat of Chinese equipment escalated back into the mainstream.
The British government recently replaced security equipment provided by Chinese-owned tech companies in the offices of key government officials.
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This comes after MPs and their peers called on the British government to crack down on the use of surveillance equipment from two Chinese companies, Hikvision and Dahua, which have already been blacklisted by Washington, the Financial Post reported. , a US-based publication.
However, there is a threat that has gone unnoticed: the tiny components made by Chinese companies in devices connected by the Internet of things.
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The Internet of Things (IoT) has evolved from niche industrial applications to being ubiquitous in homes, offices, and some vehicles. These technologies are great for helping in our daily lives, but they turn out to be data collectors that can be used by a hostile state like China to influence, pressure, or threaten an adversary, company, or individual.
All of these connected functions are enabled by small cellular IoT modules. Unlike semiconductors or 5G base stations, they are rarely marketed as complete products, which goes some way to explaining why the risk seems to have been lost in London and Washington.
According to the publication, CISA, the US cybersecurity agency, recently warned of critical vulnerabilities in Chinese-made GPS-enabled IoT devices in cars and motorcycles. They were found to contain encrypted administrator passwords and other flaws that would not only allow Chinese suppliers to monitor the location of these devices remotely, but could also cut off fuel while the vehicles were in motion.
Meanwhile, Prof. Fraser Sampson, Commissioner for the Retention and Use of Biometric Material and Commissioner for Surveillance Cameras, welcomed the UK’s decision to replace the Chinese surveillance system.
He told Asian Lite that other government departments would review their existing systems and consider his suggested clauses when purchasing surveillance and security equipment.
Sampson is a criminal justice expert and national president of the Association of Police and Crime Chief Executives. He said that the market is flooded with privately owned and unregulated recording devices such as dash cams, mobile phones and video doorbells etc.
“We don’t need so many CCTV cameras in our public places. We just need a system to compile the content and edit it to make it useful for security purposes,” he said.
Other rights groups are campaigning for Hikvision and Dahua to be banned in the UK due to the companies’ involvement in the Chinese state’s crackdown on Uyghurs in Xinjiang, China. Hikvision and Dahua cameras are used in concentration camps throughout the Uyghur region. Both companies have contracts worth at least $1.2 billion for 11 separate large-scale surveillance projects across the region.
Chinese authorities have detained as many as 1.8 million Uyghurs and other Turkish minorities in internment camps since 2017, according to numerous investigative reports from researchers, think tanks and foreign media. (AND ME)
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