by Tyler Durden
Despite the headlines and scrutiny of US officials focused on Chinese multinational tech giant Huawei, the United States military continues to purchase China-made surveillance cameras, even installing them at sensitive bases like the headquarters of Air Force Space Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), according to bombshell Financial Times report this week.
US law will ban military and government agencies from purchasing the Chinese manufactured equipment starting in August, but the FT investigation found that hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of the potentially compromising surveillance and monitoring components are still being installed in US bases. As the report points out, “China-made surveillance cameras are still watching over US military bases.”
FT introduced its report with a deeply alarming example at none other than the ground zero location for the agency responsible for defending American and Canadian airspace:
Cameras made by Hikvision, which is 42 per cent owned by the Chinese government, remain in place at the Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado, the home of North American Aerospace Defense Command (Norad) and the headquarters of Air Force Space Command. The Peterson base spent $112,000 on Hikvision cameras in 2016 and a spokesperson said these were “not associated with base security or classified areas”…
US defense officials at this and other bases justified the procurement by saying the cameras wouldn’t be connected to the internet, nor would they be used in classified or sensitive areas.
Critics worry that the Chinese government could use software in the cameras to spy on America’s most secretive military installations, especially following mounting evidence that Chinese intelligence and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) are using Huawei products, specifically its next generation 5G wireless network, as a Trojan horse backdoor to access other nations’ secrets.