Tuesday, March 28, 2023
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Chinese surveillance cameras to be removed from federal MP offices

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Chinese-made surveillance cameras are being ripped out of MPs’ electorate offices due to fears it contains spyware.

Officials from the Department of Finance confirmed the security gear made by Hikvision and Dahua were installed in the offices of 88 parliamentarians.

Sixty-five of those MPs had the CCTV systems installed, while up to 88 parliamentarians had both security cameras and intercom systems installed.

Officials from the Department of Finance confirmed it wrote to affected MPs last July to alert them it was planning to upgrade security.

But they could not say if those MPs were made aware that they had the Chinese-linked security gear installed in their offices.

“We acknowledge the concerns, absolutely, and we are working with security agencies on that but there is no particular concern that is driving the immediate replacement right now because they are not (connected to the internet),” the official said.

So far, 20 CCTV systems have been removed with plans to have all of the devices replaced by April. However, work on removing the intercom system remained at the scoping stage.

Deputy secretary Mary Wiley-Smith said the department had never received advice to remove the systems. Instead, the Hikvision and Dahua equipment was no longer on an approved list.

Last week, it was revealed 1000 cameras and other recording devices were found to have been installed across 250 different Australian government building sites.

The audit found the gear was located in almost every department, including foreign affairs and attorney-general.

China’s national security law can be used to compel any organisation or citizen to “support, assist and co-operate with the state intelligence work”.

Opposition Cyber Security spokesperson James Paterson raised concerns about whether data collected by the devices could be handed over to Chinese intelligence.

Read related topics:China

Story Credit: news.com.au

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