Chinese CCTV Cameras on British Streets Contain Hidden Microphones

Chinese-made surveillance cameras in Britain are made by companies linked to human rights atrocities and can pick up sound with hidden microphones, with this capability able to be activated remotely, according to the British government’s “snooping tsar”.

Professor Fraser Sampson, who serves as the official Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner, tasked with reviewing the  use of surveillance technology and personal biometric information, particularly by the state, has written to government ministers expressing his concern about “the clear ethical and human rights issues involved in public procurement of surveillance technology from companies associated with atrocities in China” and “the security risks presented by some state-controlled surveillance systems covering our public spaces.”

“[P]ublic space surveillance is increasingly intrusive and modern surveillance cameras are built with the maximum functionality inside at the point of manufacture,” Professor Sampson said with respect to the security risks.

He explained that “[t]his means they come with capabilities that can be switched on remotely in the future as and when they are needed, for example, the ability to pick up sound or read vehicle number plates” — in other words, the cameras have microphones embedded in them which may be activated remotely, possibly by hostile foreign actors.- READ MORE