The British Government ordered this Thursday (11.24.2022) all its ministries and departments to stop using video surveillance cameras manufactured by Chinese companies in “sensitive” locations, which Beijing requires by law to cooperate with its intelligence services.
Oliver Dowden, the highest-ranking non-portfolio minister in the Executive, stated in the House of Commons that these computers “should not be connected to the main networks of the departments” and those responsible must assess whether it is necessary to replace them immediately. .
“Security considerations are always vital in the environment of those types of venues, so we are taking steps to prevent any security risk from materializing,” Dowden told deputies.
The Government Commissioner for Video Surveillance and Biometrics, Fraser Sampson, warned last June that public technological systems are built on a base of “digital asbestos”, in reference to the material used in some constructions that can cause adverse health effects.
“Almost every aspect of our lives is now under surveillance through advanced systems that have been designed and purchased from companies controlled by other governments,” Sampson said. Those companies have “an obligation to share the data with their governments under their national law,” she added.
The president of Parliament’s Foreign Affairs committee, the conservative Alicia Kearns, welcomed the measure announced by the Government. “Removing the Chinese surveillance cameras from this building is a step in the right direction, but we must go much further,” said the deputy, who advocated extending the measures to all “public entities and local authorities.” (EFE)