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Australia to remove Chinese-made security cameras from national war memorial -reports

Pedestrian walks past a Hikvision surveillance camera installed on a footbridge in Beijing

By Lewis Jackson

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia's national war memorial will remove several Chinese-made security cameras installed on the premises because officials are concerned they could be used for spying, local media reported on Wednesday.

Eleven surveillance cameras manufactured by Hikvision, partly owned by Chinese state investors, will be removed from the Australian War Memorial in Canberra by mid-2023, according to the Canberra Times. A further 189 cameras at the site are supplied by different manufacturers.

The Australian War Memorial said in a statement on Wednesday it did not comment on security matters. Hikvision did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Fear that Chinese-made electronic equipment could be used for spying led the British government to ban security cameras made by companies subject to Chinese security laws from sensitive buildings.

Opposition senator James Paterson said on Wednesday he is conducting a full audit of all government departments and agencies for possible exposure to Chinese-made surveillance devices.

Paterson first raised the issue of Chinese-made surveillance equipment during public hearings last year.

"The War Memorial is to be commended in a sense that they recognise that they have these devices and that they should be

removed," Paterson told ABC TV on Wednesday.

"In their response to me, they said the devices that they have at their site here in Canberra will be removed and that is appropriate recognition of the national security risks that they pose."

(Reporting by Lewis Jackson; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)