Managing Editor, IFSEC Insider

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James Moore is the Managing Editor of IFSEC Insider, the leading online publication for security and fire news in the industry.James writes, commissions, edits and produces content for IFSEC Insider, including articles, breaking news stories and exclusive industry reports. He liaises and speaks with leading industry figures, vendors and associations to ensure security and fire professionals remain abreast of all the latest developments in the sector.
November 24, 2022


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Video surveillance

UK Government departments ordered to stop installing Chinese video surveillance equipment to “prevent security risks”

Oliver Dowden, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, has ordered UK Government departments to stop installing surveillance cameras made by Chinese firms subject to China’s national security law on “sensitive sites”.

Whitehall ministries have been told existing equipment should not be connected to “departmental core networks”, with consideration being given to their complete removal, on the grounds of “security concerns”.

The order applies to “visual surveillance systems” made by firms subject to China’s national Security law. The law requires companies to co-operate with Beijing’s security services, according to The Independent.

Mr Dowden’s role as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is to drive delivery of Government’s policies and to administer the estates and rents of the Duchy of Lancaster.

“Security considerations are always paramount”

Mr Dowden told MPs in a written statement: “The Government Security Group has undertaken a review of the current and future possible security risks associated with the installation of visual surveillance systems on the government estate.

“The review has concluded that, in light of the threat to the UK and the increasing capability and connectivity of these systems, additional controls are required.

“Departments have therefore been instructed to cease deployment of such equipment on to sensitive sites, where it is produced by companies subject to the national intelligence law of the People’s Republic of China.

“Since security considerations are always paramount around these sites, we are taking action now to prevent any security risks materialising.”

It was also suggested that officials should consider extending these measures to locations that may not be deemed “sensitive”.

As discussed in this year’s Video Surveillance Report, which can be downloaded here, the issue of Chinese-based video surveillance equipment in use in the UK has been put under scrutiny in recent years.

This follows from the United States’ NDAA ban introduced in 2019, which banned the selling or installing of the products by several companies primarily based in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Two years later, the US Congress passed a bill banning the import and sale of related products.


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