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Security Update on Surveillance Equipment

Volume 723: debated on Thursday 24 November 2022

The Government keep the security of our personnel, information, assets, and estate under constant review. In this context, the Government Security Group has undertaken a review of the current and future possible security risks associated with the installation of visual surveillance systems on the Government estate. The review has concluded that, in the light of the threat to the UK and the increasing capability and connectivity of these systems, additional controls are required.

Departments have therefore been instructed to cease deployment of such equipment on to sensitive sites, where it is produced by companies subject to the national intelligence law of the People’s Republic of China. Since security considerations are always paramount around these sites, we are taking action now to prevent any security risks materialising.

Additionally, Departments have been advised that no such equipment should be connected to departmental core networks and that they should consider whether they should remove and replace such equipment where it is deployed on sensitive sites rather than awaiting any scheduled upgrades. Departments have also been advised to consider whether there are sites outside the definition of sensitive sites to which they would wish to extend the same risk mitigation.

Government will continue to keep this risk under review and will take further steps if and when they become necessary.