Surveillance equipment manufactured by companies affiliated with the Chinese government has been found across three sites and removed from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).
Cameras produced by Hikvision and Dahua were discovered at the Ultimo headquarters along with two other regional locations. The broadcaster has not disclosed the exact number of cameras found, but it is understood that some of them were located in secure areas at the Ultimo headquarters. However, a spokesperson has made it clear that the cameras were only stationed in “general areas” and not in workspaces, and that they were not connected to the network.
The Sydney HQ is home to some of the most popular news programs such as 7:30, Four Corners, Radio National, and Q&A, and the broadcaster has offices in 56 locations throughout Australia, including regional areas and capital cities.
United States and the United Kingdom banned cameras manufactured by Hikvision and Dahua, due to fears they could contain spyware. The US Federal Communications Commission issued a warning, saying that the devices held an “unacceptable risk to national security”.
On the other hand, Hikvision and Dahua are subject to China’s 2017 National Intelligence Law which requires organisations to hand over data to intelligence services if requested.