FCC halts authorization of Hikvision, Dahua, effectively banning cameras in all USA facilities
In a widely anticipated move, the FCC has now prohibited all future authorizations of surveillance cameras manufactured by Chinese companies Hikvision, Dahua, Huawei, Hytera, and ZTE.
Nov 28, 2022
In a widely anticipated move, the FCC has now prohibited all future authorizations of surveillance cameras manufactured by companies that are part-owned by the CCP, the Chinese Communist Party. The embargo covers equipment and services listed in the Secure Networks Act, a bill passed by Congress in 2019 and updated in September, 2022. The blacklist singles out five Chinese manufacturers including Hikvision, Dahua, Huawei, Hytera, and ZTE.
The motivation for the ban is not entirely reactionary, according to a statement by the FCC, but is a proactive posture to safeguard a future that is overwhelmingly digital and connected. Communications technology is steadily informing every aspect of our economy and infrastructure, including agriculture, education, healthcare, energy, transportation. More so, the data derived from all these connections will inform the next generation of innovation across the economy. Visibility by foreign actors into this data poses an unacceptable risk to national security.
The new FCC authorization ban closes the loophole in previous legislation. Previously, you were forbidden to use federal funding to purchase cameras from these manufacturers – however, you could purchase equipment through private funding. Previously, the ban only applied to government facilities. Now, the total termination of new camera authorizations effectively halts the import and deployment of Hikvision and Dahua cameras in all USA facilities.
In addition to surveillance cameras, the FCC ban covers telecommunications and video surveillance equipment commonly used on the network, including phones and Wi-Fi routers, as well as rebranded ‘white label’ versions of these products.
While it is still technically legal to purchase and install currently-approved equipment from these Chinese manufacturers, the FCC has started toying with the possibility of revoking existing equipment.
We strongly encourage any facilities currently using Dahua or Hikvision surveillance equipment to plan for their timely replacement. We have been tracking the development of this bill since 2018. Although it initially was proposed as a backlash to concerns over human rights abuses in mainland China, it has swiftly evolved into a deeper understanding of the cybersecurity vulnerability of networked devices in an IoT era.
DES has never partnered with either Hikvison or Dahua. These surveillance cameras have lower-grade quality and are geared to the small-to-medium markets because of their affordability. We offer a wide range of competitively priced products from quality vendors, including Axis, Bosch, and Hanwha. DES is a leading integrator of complex security deployments. We have upgraded security systems for government, education, critical infrastructure and cannabis facilities.
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