Surveillance cameras made by Chinese companies Hikvision and Dahua are hanging in more than 50 Dutch towns and cities, according to research by broadcaster NOS. The cameras are cheap and do a good job, but there are widespread concerns that the makers are involved in espionage and in human rights infringements, NOS said.
At least 134 cameras are located in The Hague, including at the entrance to the foreign affairs ministry. And according to website Follow The Money, the police in Amsterdam also use the cameras in their security operations.
Although nothing has been found as yet, critics say there is a risk that there could be a ‘back door’ in the software, allowing others to follow and record the camera images, NOS said.
Dahua said in a reaction that it is a private company and that it takes extensive measures to protect its clients. The company also dismissed suggestions that it has been involved in human rights breaches.
Hikvision did not respond to questions from the broadcaster.
Both companies products are banned from government buildings in the US.
The Dutch security service AIVD said in its last report that China has focused a cyber offensive at the the Netherlands and said it is a major threat when it comes to industrial espionage. FTM says most of the 36,000 Dahua and Hikvision cameras in the Netherlands are in private hands.