Chinese ‘spy cameras’ will be ripped from ABC buildings after being discovered in ‘secured’ area of headquarters and two other locations
- Chinese-made cameras discovered at Ultimo headquarters, Sydney
- Also found at two regional ABC locations
- Obviously some cameras are in ‘secure’ areas
Surveillance equipment built by companies linked to the Chinese government are being ripped from the ABC after being discovered in three locations.
Cameras from Hikvision and Dahua were installed at the Ultimo headquarters of the public broadcaster and at two other regional locations.
“Work is underway to remove the cameras,” a spokesperson told NCA NewsWire.
While the public broadcaster would not confirm exactly how many cameras were discovered, NCA NewsWire understands that several are located in secure areas within Ultimo’s headquarters.
Its Sydney headquarters is home to some of the network’s most high-profile news programs such as 7:30, Radio National and Q&A.
Hikvision and Dahua cameras have been banned in the United States and the United Kingdom due to fears that they could contain spyware.
The US Federal Communications Commission warned that the devices posed an “unacceptable risk to national security.”
Surveillance equipment built by companies linked to the Chinese government is being ripped from the ABC. ABC’s Sydney headquarters in Ultimo is home to some of the network’s most high-profile news programming, such as 7:30, Radio National and Q&A
Both companies are subject to China’s 2017 National Intelligence Act, which requires organizations to hand over data to intelligence agencies upon request.
The public broadcaster did not confirm whether the CCTV cameras were connected to the internet.
Shadow Cyber Security Minister James Paterson called for the urgent removal of the devices, questioning why the ABC had not done so given its own reporting on the matter.
“It is ironic that the ABC has Hikvision cameras as they self-reported the national security risks and human rights implications of these Chinese Communist Party-affiliated companies,” he told NCA NewsWire.
“Now that they have been identified, they must be removed immediately, as in all other Commonwealth entities.”
Communications Secretary Michelle Rowland has been contacted for comment.
Attorney General Mark Dreyfus is being advised whether the cameras should be formally banned.
Cameras made by Hikvision (pictured) and Dahua were located at ABC’s Ultimo headquarters and two other regional locations
Last month, the Treasury Department confirmed that Chinese-made cameras and intercom systems were being removed from the offices of nearly 100 federal MPs.
An audit also found that the surveillance equipment was found in nearly every department, including the Attorney General, State Department, and Trade and Defense.
At least 913 cameras were installed at more than 250 government buildings.
The government quickly confirmed it had begun an audit of the equipment, with Defense Secretary Richard Marles promising to “do something about it.”
“That (risk) has clearly been there for some time, I could say, and predates us taking office, but having said that, it’s important that we go through this exercise and make sure that our facilities are completely safe,” said the Mr Marles. last month.
Hikvision has previously said suggestions that its devices posed a threat to national security were “categorically false.”