Edinburgh: Scotland has decided to phase out Hikvision, China's CCTV surveillance system equipment and is stripping them out of Scottish buildings, writes Sellainne Cathry in Vision Times.

Evidence has been submitted highlighting security flaws and how easy it is for hackers to take control, operate them remotely and use them to spy and garner intrusive information on the nation's civilians and infrastructure.

Scottish ministers have said that no other cameras have been installed since the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee issued a report in July 2021 warning that Hikvision equipment should not be used in the UK, said Cathry.

For the past three years, human rights groups, privacy rights groups and cross-party MPs have been sounding the alarm over China's Hikvision CCTV cameras that have increased across the United Kingdom.

The report advised the British government to ban Hikvision and Dahua cameras due to security issues, including Hikvision's participation in assisting the CCP in creating a social control surveillance state, reported Vision Times.

It is also used to commit human rights abuses against the Uyghurs in Xinjiang. Government buildings and council buildings, Police Scotland, Education Scotland and the Scottish Public Pensions Agency also have Hikvision technology installed within their premises, the report claimed.

Connelly Security Systems, a private company and one of Scotland's largest suppliers of CCTV and alarm equipment, is also removing Hikvision technology from its business operations, reported Vision Times.

Chief executive Paul Connelly wrote to the company's customers last week saying, "This autocratic Chinese government has been up to quite abhorrent behaviour not only to minority groups but its own indigenous people. The Hikvision products seem amazing but there's a dangerous sinister side to them too."

Regarding Hikvision cameras, Connelly said, "seeing them assist in the herding and incarceration of innocents, they're not for us....The Hikvision rhetoric coming out of China isn't washing."

Hikvision is a subsidiary of China Electronics Technology Corporation (CETC), which is listed as "the only supplier that meets the People's Liberation Army's full range of needs in the information technology field and provides the military with various types of key electronic parts," on China's Sina Finance website, as translated by The China Project.

Last year, it was found that 'Chinese intelligence agencies' can "tap into camera feeds in sensitive locations," warned MPs of the China Research Group. The Hikvision cameras could also be "accessed remotely by Chinese agents to gather intelligence", said Cathry.

Last year, MP Alistaire Carmichael commented on the advanced surveillance capabilities that include biometric facial recognition, gender and behaviour detection.

"These cameras take surveillance to a whole new level, the public needs to understand how potentially powerful and intrusive this technology is," he said.

Meanwhile, Fraser Sampson, the UK Biometric and Surveillance Camera Commissioner, said he had obtained evidence that Hikvision's involvement in five projects in Xinjiang "may go way beyond installation", according to Biometric Update.

Last year, Hikvision was awarded a contract to "work in close partnership with the [Chinese] government to 'Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer' the System", wrote Sampson.

This system is what the Chinese government calls a "Social Prevention and Control System."

The CCP's CCTV surveillance system works in tandem with the CCP's credit scoring system, which now dictates movements and the daily domestic life of Chinese citizens.

This infrastructure has also been used to implement China's Central Bank Digital Currency, which gives the Chinese government control over its citizens' finances and how they can or cannot spend their money, reported Vision Times.