Last week, surveillance giants Hikvision and Dahua along with three other Chinese telecom equipment manufacturers – Huawei, ZTE Corp. and Hytera Communications Corp. – were placed on a list of companies deemed threats to national security by the Federal Communication Commission’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau.
In a statement, the FCC said the companies produce telecommunications equipment and services that have been found to pose an unacceptable risk to U.S. national security or the security and safety of U.S. persons. The Secure Networks Act requires the FCC to publish and maintain a list of communications equipment and services that pose such risks.
"This list is a big step toward restoring trust in our communications networks," said Acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. "Americans are relying on our networks more than ever to work, go to school, or access healthcare, and we need to trust that these communications are safe and secure. This list provides meaningful guidance that will ensure that as next-generation networks are built across the country, they do not repeat the mistakes of the past or use equipment or services that will pose a threat to U.S. national security or the security and safety of Americans."
In a statement provided to SecurityInfoWatch (SIW), Hikvision called the designation ‘unsubstantiated’ and questioned why it was placed on a list with 5G network technology developers.
“Hikvision strongly opposes this decision by the Federal Communications Commission and is weighing all options on how to best address this unsubstantiated designation,” read the statement. “Hikvision does not belong on a list for next-generation networks.”
SIW reached out to Dahua for a statement but they had not gotten back to us as of press time Tuesday.
The placement of Hikvision and Dahua on the FCC list is just the latest in a string of actions taken by the U.S. government against the two manufacturers.
Last November, former President Donald Trump signed an executive order barring U.S. companies and individuals from investing in Hikvision due to its alleged ties with the Chinese military. Prior to that, a provision included in the passage of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which went into effect in August 2019, prohibits federal agencies from purchasing video surveillance products from both Hikvision and Dahua as well as Hytera Technologies.
Under the interim Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) that went into effect this past August, security integrators that want to do business with the federal government are now required to remove Hikvision and Dahua products from their supply chains
Additionally, in October 2019, the Department of Commerce placed both Hikvision and Dahua on a blacklist that prohibits U.S.-based businesses from exporting their products to the companies over their alleged involvement in human rights violations carried out by the Chinese government.
More recently, Dahua has come under fire following reports that a software development kit published on its website included code that could be used to track China’s minority Uyghur population.
Joel Griffin is the Editor of SecurityInfoWatch.com and a veteran security journalist. You can reach him at [email protected].