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Chinese technology in the “Internet of Things” poses a new threat to the West: reports

Once the UK decided to ban China’s telecommunications company Huawei, from its 5G telecom networks, the debate over the security threat from Chinese equipment heated up once again into the mainstream.

Once the UK decided to ban China’s telecommunications company Huawei, from its 5G telecom networks, the debate over the security threat from Chinese equipment heated up once again into the mainstream.

Recently, the British government replaced security equipment provided by Chinese-owned technology companies in the offices of senior government officials.

It comes after MPs and peers of the British government called for crackdowns on the use of surveillance equipment from two Chinese companies, Hikvision and Dahua, which have already been blacklisted by Washington, the Financial Post, the America-based newspaper reported.

However, there is one threat that has been hidden, and that is the small components that Chinese companies manufacture in devices connected to the Internet of Things.

The Internet of Things (IoT) has evolved from specialized industrial applications to being ubiquitous in homes, offices, and some vehicles. These technologies are great to help in our daily lives, but turn out to be data collectors that can be used by a hostile country like China to influence, pressure, or threaten an adversary, company, or individual.

All these connected functions are enabled by small cellular IoT modules. Unlike semiconductors or 5G base stations, they are rarely marketed as complete products, which explains why the risks are apparently lost in London and Washington.

According to the publication, the US cybersecurity agency CISA recently warned of critical vulnerabilities in Chinese-made Internet of Things (IoT) devices that support GPS in cars and motorcycles. It was found to contain encrypted administrative passwords and other flaws that would not only allow Chinese suppliers to remotely monitor the location of these devices but potentially cut off fuel supplies while vehicles are in motion.

Meanwhile, Professor Fraser Sampson, Commissioner for Retention and Use of Biometric Materials, and Commissioner for Surveillance Camera, welcomed the UK’s move to replace the Chinese monitoring system.

He told Asian Lite that other government departments would review their existing systems and look into the items he proposed in purchasing surveillance and security equipment.

Sampson is a criminal justice expert and the national president of the Police Association and chief crime executives. He said the market is full of privately owned and unregulated recording devices such as dash cams, cell phones, video doorbells, etc.

“We don’t need many CCTV cameras in our public places,” he said. “We simply need a system for compiling and editing content to make it useful for security purposes,” he said.

Other rights groups are campaigning for Hikvision and Dahua to be banned in the UK due to the companies’ involvement in the Chinese state’s suppression of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, China. Hikvision and Dahua cameras are used in concentration camps throughout the Uyghur region. Both companies have contracts worth at least $1.2 billion for 11 separate, large-scale monitoring projects across the region.

Chinese authorities have detained up to 1.8 million Uyghurs and other Turkish minorities in internment camps since 2017, according to numerous investigative reports prepared by researchers, research centers and foreign media.