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A decision made by the UK government called for a ban on the use of the largest CCTV provider in the world due to the company’s alleged involvement with the Chinese oppression in the Xinjiang province and Tibet. According to a Big Brother Watch’s report alleged that Hikvision, the manufacturer that supplies up to 60% of the UK CCTV market, has participated in China’s oppression of the Uyghur community in Xinjiang. Over a million of these cameras are thought to be on buildings across the UK, including on government and publicly owned property.

The new decision by the UK government includes a ban on the future installation of any security cameras made by companies subject to Chinese security laws and came after a review of the security risks linked to surveillance systems on the government estate, according to techmonitor.ai. “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,” Oliver Dowden, British Parliament member and he Duchy of Lancaster, wrote in a statement to parliament as he referred to the CCTV cameras as “current and future possible security risks”.

Professor Fraser Sampson, the outgoing UK Biometrics and Surveillance Cameras Commissioner, said that banning the cameras from government buildings is “the easy bit”, and now the hard work begins. “We need a risk-based timeline to address all the issues, some of which can be done now but others take years. We are no longer asking whether certain security companies can be trusted, we now accept they can’t, but we need to work out how to verify those we can trust.”

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