Surveillance equipment from controversial Chinese company used in Denmark

Surveillance cameras from Hikvision and Dahua photographed in Beijing. Hikvision is beset by criticism and skepticism due to both mistrust of security issues and complicity in the oppression of citizens. Photo: Thomas Peter / Reuters

The Chinese company Hikvision supplies surveillance equipment to several public institutes in Denmark, but according to the American think tank Freedom House and the United States government, the equipment of the company is involved in the crackdown in China, Jyllands-Posten reports.

It was Danish public institutions such as the armed forces, HCA Odense Airport, Aalborg Port and the Municipality of Aalborg that purchased products from Hikvision and products including advanced systems such as thermal cameras. and facial recognition.

However, according to the United States, the Chinese company Hikvision poses a possible security risk and the products of the company are, according to the United States government, used for human rights violations.

Freedom House research director Amy Slipowitz tells JP that it is very disturbing that Danish authorities have purchased surveillance technology from a company known to have contributed to human rights violations against Tibetans and Uighurs.

According to Henrik Jess Jensen, head of departments in Aalborg Municipality, they were not aware of these allegations against the Chinese company before the purchase, which they now regret. Henrik Jess Jensen adds that all the rules were followed during the process.

The Danish armed forces will not disclose where or how they use Chinese Hikvision products, but like other buyers, they stress that the system is not connected to the internet. However, according to experts, this does not mean that the system is secure. The HCA airport in the Danish city of Odense has announced that it will change its surveillance system this summer.

In a response, Hikvision says the company takes cybersecurity seriously, “respects human rights” and believes the company’s US blacklist is deeply disappointing and happened “without reason or evidence.” .

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