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Scotland Purges China’s CCTV Surveillance System From Its Infrastructure

Published: December 21, 2022
Chinese President Xi Jinping is seen on a big screen showing the Chinese state television CCTV evening news as the city gets ready for the upcoming centenary of the Communist Party of China on June 30, 2021 in Beijing, China. (Image: Andrea Verdelli/Getty Images)

By Sellainne Cathry, Vision Times UK Staff

For the past three years, human rights groups, privacy rights groups and cross party MPs have been sounding the alarm over China’s Hikvision CCTV cameras that have increased across the United Kingdom.  

Evidence has been submitted highlighting security flaws and how easy it is for hackers to take control, operate them remotely and use them to spy and garner intrusive information on the nation’s civilians and infrastructure. 

The Scottish government has now decided to phase out the Hikvision equipment and is stripping them out of Scottish buildings. Scottish ministers have said that no other cameras have been installed since the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee issued a report in July 2021 warning that Hikvision equipment should not be used in the UK. 

The report advised the British government to ban Hikvision and Dahua cameras due to security issues, including Hikvision’s participation in assisting the CCP in creating a social control surveillance state. 

This is also used to commit human rights abuses against the Uyghurs in Xinjiang. Hikvision has always denied this allegation despite evidence to the contrary, which Fraser Sampson, the UK Biometric Chief Commissioner, possesses.

Government buildings and council buildings, Police Scotland, Education Scotland and the Scottish Public Pensions Agency also have Hikvision technology installed within their premises. These bodies are all accountable to the Scottish government, which said in a statement that it “has a number of legacy items manufactured by Hikvision which are being phased out as part of an ongoing security improvement programme,” reported The Times.

Connelly Security Systems — Does “the right thing”

Connelly Security Systems, a private company and one of Scotland’s largest suppliers of CCTV and alarm equipment, is also removing Hikvision technology from its business operations. 

Chief executive Paul Connelly wrote a letter to the company’s customers last week explaining. “This autocratic Chinese government has been up to quite abhorrent behaviour not only to minority groups but its own indigenous people. The Hikvision products seem amazing but there’s a dangerous sinister side to them too.” 

Connelly said that his company’s direction is to focus now on using “ethically resourced products,” which may not be as cheap, but it was morally the right thing to do. Regarding Hikvision cameras, Connelly said, “seeing them assist in the herding and incarceration of innocents, they’re not for us….The Hikvision rhetoric coming out of China isn’t washing.”

Connelly added, “New works in the course of 2023 will be more expensive and that will be hard but not as hard as the lives the poor Uyghur people as well as the people in Hong Kong are experiencing.” 

Connelly then stressed that the decision was made out of moral integrity and moral conscience, not political motivation. “I’m not politically motivated at all. I’m just saying I do know what is right and what is wrong. This has been wrong for a long time,” he said.

The dangerous and sinister side of Hikvision

Hikvision is a subsidiary of China Electronics Technology Corporation (CETC), which is listed as “the only supplier that meets the People’s Liberation Army’s full range of needs in the information technology field and provides the military with various types of key electronic parts,” on China’s Sina Finance website, as translated by The China Project.

Last year, it was found that “Chinese intelligence agencies” can “tap into camera feeds in sensitive locations,” warned MPs of the China Research Group. The Hikvision cameras could also be “accessed remotely by Chinese agents to gather intelligence.” 

Last year, MP Alistaire Carmichael commented on the advanced surveillance capabilities that include biometric facial recognition, gender and behaviour detection. “These cameras take surveillance to a whole new level, the public needs to understand how potentially powerful and intrusive this technology is,” he said. 

Lord West of Spithurst raised huge concerns that “there will not only be cameras but sound as well. They will sit in every office, see everything on every desk and record everything that is going on once 5G is linked.”

Hikvision’s 21 year contract with the CCP

Fraser Sampson, the UK Biometric and Surveillance Camera Commissioner obtained evidence that Hikvision’s involvement in five projects in Xinjiang “may go way beyond installation,” according to Biometric Update.

Last year, Hikvision was awarded a contract to “work in close partnership with the [Chinese] government to ‘Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer’ the System,” wrote Sampson. This System is what the Chinese government calls a “Social  Prevention and Control System.”

The CCP’s CCTV surveillance system works in tandem with the CCP’s credit scoring system, which now dictates the movements and daily domestic life of Chinese citizens. This infrastructure has also been used to implement China’s Central Bank Digital Currency, which gives the Chinese government control over Chinese citizens’ finances and how they can or cannot spend their money.

The Chinese communist party (CCP), along with other communist forces, want to ‘Transfer’ the ‘System’ running in China to the rest of the world. At the G20 meeting, China ordered that other countries adopt Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) to keep up with China and accommodate the Chinese digital Renminbi.  

For the CCP (head of the communist forces) to achieve their goal of world domination in a world ruled, controlled and re-designed by them, it is vital to the communist regime that it has its systems operating as infrastructure in foreign countries or at the very least, ensures that it participates in the creation of other countries systems. The CCP calls these maneuvers its “strategic weapon.”