Dahua Responds, Caught Lying

By John Honovich, Published Feb 11, 2021, 11:51am EST

Dahua has responded to IPVM and the LA Times investigation into Dahua's "Uyghur Warnings". Dahua has been caught lying repeatedly about its human rights violations.

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Dahua admitted that the Dahua documents IPVM discovered are authentic:

Based on the Company’s internal review, the relevant documents reported by certain media are historical internal software design documents.

The 'history' for these documents is very recent - March 2019 to December 2020, just 2 months ago.

In December 2020, Dahua's 'big data' guide for its PRC police projects listed support for tracking "Uyghurs with hidden terrorist inclination' alongside drug addicts, thieves, prostitutes, fugitives, gangsters, fraudsters, excerpted below:

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This was an internal document that Dahua thought would never be made public.

Lied To SCMP

However, a month before that, in November 2020, Dahua told the SCMP:

Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

Dahua Technology does not sell products that feature [an] ethnicity-focused recognition function [emphasis added]

Xinjiang vs Rest of PRC "Warnings"

Now, Dahua's new statement, following the LA Times / IPVM report, does not deny selling ethnicity detection, just not in particular 'regional markets':

does not provide products and services for ethnicity detection in such regional markets. [emphasis added]

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Dahua's Director of Marketing Jiaqi Gao emailed IPVM today qualifying that the region is Xinjiang:

We never provided products or services for ethnicity detection in Xinjiang, PRC

But Uyghur detection in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region is not the point, since Xinjiang is the Uyghur homeland, and such warnings would go off constantly. Indeed, the PRC has much more draconian ways of controlling Uyghurs in Xinjiang.

The point of Dahua selling and operating "real-time Uyghur detection" is to alert police throughout the rest of China when a Uyghur is spotted outside of Xinjiang. It is big business for Dahua and terrifying for Uyghurs who are warned against, using Dahua video surveillance, for the 'crime' of being Uyghur.

Dahua lying to the SCMP was not their first time lying about persecuting Uyghurs.

Lied After Sanctions

Dahua posted a similar 'notice' after the US sanctioned Dahua for human rights abuses of Uyghurs in October 2019, declaring:

With regard to U.S. Department of Commerce’s decision on adding Dahua Technology to the Entity List, we express our strong protest to such decision, which is in lack of any factual basis, and call on the U.S. government to reconsider on it. [Emphasis Added]

The factual basis was significant including Dahua constructing and operating police stations in Xinjiang.

Moreover, our new investigation found a March 2019 Dahua test report of its face analytics mentioning "real time Uyghur warnings" thirteen separate times, including:

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As can be seen above, Dahua marked this as "Pass", meaning "real time Uyghur warnings" was included/functional 7 months before US sanctions were enacted.

Not In The Future

Dahua's new statement pledges that they will not offer this 'in the future':

Dahua will not provide the features or applications in the software products in the future.

Dahua has repeatedly lied about its actions yet now Dahua expects the public to believe they will not do it again.

Dahua has created an alarming situation with its combination of systematic human rights abuses and flagrant lying to the public.

Comments (39)

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Dahua will not provide the features or applications in the software products in the future.

I think they forgot something.

Dahua will not provide the features or applications in the software products in the future in such regional markets.

Better.

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Just saw this on Baidu AI site (which is an equivalent to our AI.Google) bragging about their pretrained classifiers that any solution vendor can hook up to products. Some of these would make us think twice about the ethical aspect, but for the Chinese it's quite OK. Different culture!

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Amazing...not really, but informative laundry-list of categories ..so long CAPTCHA..you're next when AI defeats CAPTCHA, we know AI may not have been the best idea....a little too human... EDIT: never mind...hacked and rehacked and then just for laughs...hacked...V4 will be created by AI to prove we're not them.....as we go the way of the Romans...

Well, they 'misstated' (lied), got caught, and feel they have constructed an acceptable reason for being (how do they state it in the US and elsewhere.....'less then truthful'...no thats not it....I know we can control the language with one or more of these...

fabricate, fib, prevaricate, perjure, equivocate, fudge, deceive, delude, dupe, fool, gull, hoodwink, snow, trick, falsify, misreport, misrepresent, misstate, distort, misinform, mislead

Yes I was lazy - the above terms were borrowed from the pages of Merriam Webster ). Maybe they should have just come up with a code-word or number to describe the ethnicity (among other analytics) in their code and documentation. They really should have had a bean-bag sit-down with the folks at G***l* and Amaz** (the G-word and A-word) - now, they know how to profile everything. Better document control and less feature description(the 'just figure it out for yourself' method) in the future, may be tried, as the demand will most likely not simply go away. My gosh, how are we (the rest of the world) to re-train them (and others) not to profile by ethnicity or any other data-set so the need no longer exists - guess is we won't. Where there is a need, greed, and ability, someone will fulfill the need. I wonder how the UK, US and AU are so good at concealing (or just getting away with it) the fact that they ('they' being a variety of LE agencies, non-LE agencies, public and private companies, even private individuals) too are profiling everything under the sun via ever evolving AI analytics. Maybe just force those that want the 'bad' capabilities to develop the custom code themselves (wait..some already do). Maybe only order products with NO AI analytics (educate customers on the potential misuse scenarios, but really, in that deep, dark part of their minds they don't talk about, they still want it...all of it) and if a MFG doesn't offer products AI-free, then watch as profit margins plunge; bring them to their knees. But wait, they may not need 'regular commercial' customers with govmt funded/sponsored-clientele . Maybe we shouldn't pick and choose which analytics are 'good' or 'bad'; they may all eventually be bad (they may already be..depends on who you're speaking with). None of our customers really want to know about suspicious activities, known-thieves, prostitutes, drug-users/dealers, particular ethnicity presence(what does ethnicity have to do with anything anyways - there isn't any statistical data supporting the need for this), known child molesters or any of that silly data/meta-data (even if historical statistical data supports bad things happening as relate to the various data-sets) - don't lie to yourself, yes they want it.. Particular data-set categories and options of said categories are viewed by some to be simply immoral and unethical. Some will also argue that humans are so much better at determining who is OK and who isn't anyways, since the beginning of time. Maybe, force those lazy PRC to be on the lookout with other humans for anything or anyone they feel they need to monitor, torture or kill in the name of 'natl security'. Some may say shame on Dahua (and others) for inventing solutions to support diabolic needs; no one has ever done that before or will again (who else comes to mind........). But remember; AI and analytics are Grrrreat for everything else. Good job for outing those bad guys; liars, in a time where lying has become the 'norm' (that was not sarcasm, truly); hopefully you have much much much more time on your hands to get the rest (of the bad guys). It may be time to begin training your kids, kids-kids and kids-kids-kids to become investigative and unbiased reporters; we probably need more of those.

Nice job reporting, as usual.

-Cheers from the realm of reality.

What else are they doing as this "wasn't supposed to be made public"?

Is anyone surprised? You cant believe anything they say, only what they do. The west has pretended this is not the case with China for decades because of financial incentives. When will the west wake up? We have plenty of ways we could play hardball with them but choose not to.

Wondering (as usual) who chooses the images and motion GIF's associated with the articles ( this one and other Uyghur-related in particular)? Maybe I simply misunderstand but I was under the impression the reporting here was 'unbiased' and 'impartial'.... I'm sensing potential bias with the choice of imagery and as we all have been told one time or another, " a picture is worth a thousand words". What are these pictures actually saying? The images used in some of the articles may be construed as to attempt to evoke certain, possibly even negativly biased, emotions before even reading.. Luckily, I'm not subject to respond emotionally to this imagery, but some may certainly fall prey to it. Maybe I'm just imagining it.... not questioning the articles' other, actual written content here; the content is usually pretty informative and at times even entertaining.

Thank you for your unbiased reporting.

What are these pictures actually saying?

That Dahua flagrantly lies about abusing human rights and oppressing ethnic minorities.

Ok, so then it is a biased report with supporting imagery. We are clear on it, now. Appreciate the clarification.

Thank you for your biased reporting.

Thank you for your biased reporting.

We are biased against human rights abuses?

I think you mean we are opposed to human rights abuses. Biased means being "unfairly prejudiced for or against someone or something". It is fair and just to be opposed to human rights abuses, agree/disagree?

If you are claiming to be a reporter(of sorts), then maybe just report. Plain and simple. Let the people reading the 'information' make their own determinations based on the quality and unbiased(impartial) substance of information as presented. Addition of any bias, be it visual or written is not simply reporting. It is an attempt at manipulation of thought. There are different purposes for this, but it is no longer reporting then. Maybe state, "here is our commentary..." not pretending to be simply bringing the people information. This is the same problem plaguing major media outlets throughout the world. If you have an opinion, maybe state in your report that you have an opinion. It then ceases to be a report and may become a commentary. Doing so doesn't have to mean the information provided is inaccurate, in any way, or that what was/is being done to these people wasn't/isn't wrong. But at the very least you're not lying about the manner in which you are presenting information as just unbiased information (choose whichever synonym you like if 'unbiased' is not the word for you; I chose unbiased but could have used impartial, maybe objective or even simply neutral..do any of those work for you?) - of any type.

I like your articles generally, but some are definitely not unbiased reporting.

A duck is a duck, they don't pretend to be something else.

Thank-you for 'choosing' the definition of 'bias' that most suits your argument but there are other definitions and synonyms that may be used to counter your argument as well. I'm glad you thought about what I may have meant, but leave that to me; I'll let you know what I think and mean.

choose whichever synonym you like if 'unbiased' is not the word for you; I chose unbiased but could have used impartial, maybe objective or even simply neutral..do any of those work for you?)

Neutral is not a synonym for unbiased nor has IPVM ever claimed to be neutral.

Neutral:

not helping or supporting either side in a conflict, disagreement

Unbiased:

unfairly prejudiced for or against someone or something

As for:

Thank-you for 'choosing' the definition of 'bias' that most suits your argument

The one I choose is literally the dictionary definition.

For example, let's you state "Pushing old ladies into traffic is bad". Imagine if I retorted, "Aha, you are biased against pushing old laddies into traffic!" That would be bizarre, correct? Because it is fair and just for you to be against pushing old ladies into traffic, yes?

Maybe state, "here is our commentary..." don't pretend to be simply bringing the people information.

That's your perception of what IPVM is. We advocate for things that we believe are just and fair. If you think it's just and fair for Dahua to develop technology targeted at oppressing ethnic minorities then you can make your case why it is.

Sorry but I just fact checked the definitions in 3 different dictionaries. You're just wrong. Feel free to continue to attempt to control the language down to the definitions of words used, but you are not correct. Worst case, lets use 'objective' or 'impartial' Either of those work?

But wait - From the about page of IPVM >>

Founded in 2008, we are independent and dedicated to objective information, we do not accept advertising, sponsorship nor consulting projects from manufacturers.

Who is IPVM?

  • IPVM is a team of 20 with extensive experience working for security integrators, organizations, and manufacturers as well as graduates from Columbia, Dartmouth, Harvard, Lehigh, Northwestern, NYU, RIT, West Point, UPenn, and Yale.
  • We have dedicated specialists covering cameras, video analytics, VMS, IP networking, access control, and more.
  • IPVM research is cited in US Congressional reporting as well as global publications ranging from the WSJ, BBC, Financial Times, WaPo, NY Times, Bloomberg, Reuters, VoA, and many more.

IPVM is now 12 years old, learn more about IPVM in this short video:

I think I saw 'objective' in there somewhere...now where was it....oh yeah, right after the 'independent and dedicated' part...

Sorry but I just fact checked the definitions in 3 different dictionaries. You're just wrong

You are welcome to provide citations to the dictionaries you checked. I provided mine, to quote myself from above:

The one I choose is literally the dictionary definition.

You are free to define bias any way you want for your own use. However, the term 'biased', as used in 21st century English, is when someone is unfairly against something.

You chose the English Learner's Dictionary, I chose Merriam's as my primary

Bias | Definition of Bias by Merriam-Webster

I see you are still hung up on defining the word. Let's use your own word from your website then. 'objective'. You do indeed claim to be objective, but do not appear to practice objectivity in some reporting.

Sure, take Merriam's, which defines bias as:

a personal and sometimes unreasoned judgment

to give a settled and often prejudiced outlook

BIAS implies an unreasoned and unfair distortion of judgment in favor of or against a person or thing [emphasis added]

Bias, in 21st century English, means something that is 'unreasoned' or 'prejudiced' or 'unfair', bias does not mean simply taking a stand. Are you against stabbing infants? That does not make you 'biased' against stabbing infants.

Let's use your own word from your website then. 'objective'.

We say we are 'dedicated to objective information', which we are. We then take appropriate stands based on that information. I've updated the about page to make clear our 'advocacy of ethical practices':

Founded in 2008, we are independent and dedicated to objective information and advocacy of ethical practices.

This reflects the reality of what IPVM has been since its founding.

As I have shown through this dialogue, we are happy to discuss opposing viewpoints though I am still a bit confused about your passion here. Do you think what Dahua is doing with 'real time Uyghur warnings" is ethical or?

I believe that the way in which the technology is being used by the end user is unethical.

"Founded in 2008, we are independent and dedicated to objective information and advocacy of ethical practices."

Thank you.

"We advocate for things that we believe are just and fair."

If you truly believed in what you are saying and are really interested in these human rights abuses you are constantly 'commenting' on, tell us; what is the country of origin for technology or components of devices or general "things" used by IPVM? Where do the servers, memory, NICS, HDD's, mice, keyboards, monitors, your cell phones, the laptop and it's components you are probably accessing IPVM with come from or components that make your car work, some of your bicycle components, materials used to build the structures you live, eat and work in, some of the food you eat, your Amazon toys, pens, machine components that are used to make your toilet paper, networking hardware components that allow all of us to have these interesting and informative communications....the list goes on and on and on and on...Please tell me that if human rights abuses are so close to your heart and being, mind and soul that you are going to give up sourcing funds daily for a country that supports and practices these abuses. Please tell me you are not willfully contributing to these abuses with your money. Speaking or writing words for or against a cause are one thing but actions well, yet something very different. What are you personally doing besides 'reporting' on it? Do you get up in the morning and have breakfast? How do you cook? Do you use a toaster, drink coffee made in a Starbucks machine..guess what - you're helping perpetuate the existence of human rights abuses. You could literally cease to exist and the components of the coffin you may be buried in probably in one form or another originated from where? Where? Yes even after death you (more likely your family) will still be contributing to a country that continues to practice human rights abuses. Keep 'advocating' but know that in the end, really, you're lying to yourself and the rest of us. You don't practice what you preach. Many of us have paid good money to this site to obtain 'objective' information (have a peek at your 'about' page) about our industry, only to (at times) receive false(or hypocritical) advocacy for the fair and just treatment of people in a country that still practices human rights abuses, but yet you (as all of us) continue to contribute to the perpetuation of those practices with your money and use of a plethora of products originating from said country. The difference is I (and many others) don't falsely claim to 'realistically' be doing something (or preaching) about ridding the world of this terrible practice. Many pay to use this site to help educate themselves about current industry technology and your testing experiences with it. No one will choose to completely sanction or not purchase China-originated products (which may probably be the only way to rid our world of their human rights abuses (maybe) but at what cost to the rest of our existence?). This is what you get when countries decide to participate in a 'global economy' and then let 1 country provide 90% of the products the rest of us use; except that country has a few major problems...never mind that though, right, the price is right.

I and many other paying customers do, however, enjoy using the site and find MUCH of the information interesting. You should be thanked where it is do so "thank-you" otherwise, how about you practice more of the 'objective' claim? IPVM is good at what they do - thanks to the team.

#3, you are certainly welcome to prefer IPVM to act or report on things in a certain way, e.g., 'impartial' or 'neutral' but that is not what we have ever been nor will we be, e.g., just a few examples for context - 2012 - The Axis Corruption Cruise Returns, 2012 - Arecont Lies, Now Threatens Lawsuit, 2015 - Milestone Systems Admits IPO Plan Lie, 2018 - Beware Scam Market 'Research', 2019 - Axis Brags About "Whiskey Tasting" With Independent Consultants, 2020 - Verkada Faces Sexism, Discrimination, And Cultural Challenges, etc.

We ground what we do in the industry's most comprehensive research and take stands upon that.

you (as all of us) continue to contribute to the perpetuation of those practices with your money and use of a plethora of products originating from said country. The difference is I (and many others) don't falsely claim to 'realistically' be doing something (or preaching) about ridding the world of this terrible practice.

There's a lot of bad things in the world and no one individual can eliminate or isolate themselves from all of them alone. Is your conclusion that, because of this, we should simply allow all bad things to happen? If so, I don't see it that way.

Specific people and organizations have specific skills and abilities in specific areas.

We can, have, and continue to make a difference when it comes to bad things in video surveillance, whether it is from China, the US, or elsewhere.

"'impartial' or 'neutral' but that is not what we have ever been nor will we be"

That was the response I was looking for. Thank you. I knew we would eventually get there.

"'impartial' or 'neutral' but that is not what we have ever been nor will we be"

That was the response I was looking for. Thank you. I knew we would eventually get there.

me too, considering he said it 2 days before:

Neutral is not a synonym for unbiased nor has IPVM ever claimed to be neutral.

Yes they may be lying but, are they actually lying about they, themselves, abusing human rights and oppressing ethnic minorities or rather, lying about providing technology that 'can' be 'used' to abuse human rights and oppress ethnic minorities? I believe the latter may be more accurate.

providing technology that 'can' be 'used'

Dahua directly contracts and operates systems that abuse human rights, see: Evidence of Dahua's Involvement In Xinjiang Surveillance

To be clear, imagine a case where Dahua made cameras and a serial killer bought those cameras off of Alibaba or Amazon, etc. The serial killer than used those cameras to target and kill people. Dahua would have no responsibility for these actions as Dahua provided a general-purpose product and had no direct connection or knowledge of what the serial killer would do.

In the Uyghur case, Dahua has direct connections, direct involvement, and specifically developed products that it knew, by design, would be used to abuse human rights (i.e., 'real-time Uyghur warnings').

They knew that the technology would be used to 'identify' a very specific type of object in a specific category. Im still searching for the document containing the conversation or agreement between customer and manufacturer detailing that the technology 'would' be used to 'specifically abuse human rights' (even now that we know that appears to be how the technology is being used by the customer(s)).

They knew that the technology would be used to 'identify' a very specific type of object in a specific category.

Factually incorrect. They knew it was to warn against a specific ethnic group, not simply identify an 'object'. Please carefully read the original investigation - Dahua Provides "Uyghur Warnings" To China Police.

Contrast this to tripline or people detection, which is a general-purpose technology that could be used in many ways that Dahua could not abstractly know would be abused.

But 'warnings' against an ethnic group are inherently unethical and what Dahua exactly did.

now that we know that appears to be how the technology is being used by the customer(s)).

The point of this post is to show that Dahua has long known that this was unethical and continued to do this, throughout 2020, after being sanctioned and after broad condemnation of these practices.

Im pretty sure this clip will illustrate how the US will respond to Duaha

Now that is entertaining.

@john there is no question on why this is unethical. Did IPVM research/test the technology on how the analytics work? Is it based on skin color? Would love to read more about that

Do a google search for the 60 minutes report and you will see what the issue is

IMO China, The Motherland, made Dahua and then financed Dahua to create the needed s/w needed to pick out races. In China's leaderships minds, it furthers the success and directives of China's goals. Dahua is likely doing as told or their CEO may take some mandatory time off. Kinda like the CEO of Alibaba et al. Dahua has one important customer all the rest can be forgotten. I just don't see the business need for race ID and I bet Dahua did not either.

"Don't learn the tricks of the trade, learn the trade."

IMO China, The Motherland, made Dahua and then financed Dahua to create the needed s/w needed to pick out race

And then instructed them to sell the products overseas (to us) so that ultimately we pay for their development & The Motherland gets their money back from the original financing.

I applaud the independent thought process..

What an interesting and unique perspective....you may be on to something here. Now, what are we to do to force that government and it's state-sponsored technology companies to stop the perpetuation of these atrocities? Where would it hurt the most to help them understand and accept what they are doing is wrong, assuming they don't understand(they understand)? Can we shame them? Can we stop purchasing their technology? A firm talking to at the United Nations? War? What to do. We may want to ask the US what they do about their race issues and practices and to provide advice and direction since they have such a handle on it.

I wonder who UI #3 works for?

No need to worry UM#9, I enjoy asking questions, thinking/speaking independently and keeping people honest(as possible).

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