Chinese firm's surveillance cameras watching U.S. bases

  • 23 July 2019
  • NormanL

Even as the Trump administration continues to sound the alarm about Chinese technology companies and the security risks they pose to the West, there appear to be some parts of the U.S. government that haven't gotten the message.

And disturbingly, that includes U.S. military bases. The Financial Times reports that security cameras made by the Chinese company Hikvision (which is partialy owned by the Chinese government) are in place at a number of military installations, including Peterson Air Force Base, home to NORAD. The administration has instituted a ban on the use of Hikvision equipment, citing security concerns.

But that's just the beginning of the problem with Hikvision, which is accused of using its highly advanced facial recognition technology to help the Chinese government create what human rights observers call a police state in western China.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in an interview with Fox News on May 2 that the administration was concerned “that the Chinese are working to put their systems in networks all across the world so they can steal your information and my information.” He mentioned the Muslim internment camps, adding, “This is stuff that is reminiscent of the 1930s that present a real challenge to the United States, and this administration is prepared to take this on.”

That so much of this technology is in place in the United States is bad enough. That so many government agencies -- down to the local level -- are unwilling or slow to admit they have the stuff on site makes matters even worse. We've long known that China is not our friend -- it is an active, sometimes aggressive, competitor. We need to act accordingly.