FCC Explains Why They Plan To Ban Dahua And Hikvision

By Conor Healy and Gurami Jamaspishvili, Published Jun 23, 2021, 10:48am EDT

The FCC explained why they voted unanimously for a plan to ban Dahua, Hikvision, Huawei, ZTE, and Hytera authorizations. Below is a 1-minute video recap:

The FCC's Acting Chairwoman Rosenworcel explained that it is based on these companies posing an unacceptable risk to national security:

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Read the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act of 2019 resolution and its stated goal to provide "a mechanism to prevent communications equipment or services that pose a national security risk from entering US networks."

As Commissioner Starks explained:

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Declaring that network security is national security:

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Video surveillance devices have shifted from analog to network solutions over the past decade and are now migrating to cloud-based (network) solutions.

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Commissioner Carr noted the 5 companies that have met this threshold.

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This is the same list taken from the US NDAA.

Commissioner Starks says that the FCC should not authorize such companies' products in US networks:

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After discussions, the FCC voted unanimously to adopt the plan to ban NDAA covered manufacturers, including Dahua and Hikvision:

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The entire FCC meeting passing this plan was broadcasted and is recorded on YouTube, embedded below:

The segment on the ban plan is from 3 minutes to 33 minutes.

PRC China Responds

PRC Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Zhao Lijian, per Reuters, responded:

The United States, without any evidence, still abuses national security and state power to suppress Chinese companies

Once again we urge the US to stop stretching the concept of national security and stop politicising economic issues

China state-media CGTN published an opinion piece on this matter titled, "FCC ban of Chinese surveillance equipment may further erode US government trust", in which the author warned that if the FCC banned Dahua and Hikvision that the US would become 'more vulnerable' to 'horrific violence':

If the FCC does ban Chinese surveillance equipment, many ordinary Americans will suffer the consequences as local governments, police departments, schools and hospitals become more vulnerable that the kind of horrific violence that has become all too common in the United States today.

12 reports cite this report:

Hikvision Argues Airgapping And Firewalling Negate FCC Concerns on Oct 26, 2021
Hikvision told the FCC that fears about its equipment are "unfounded" and...
US House Passes FCC Ban Bill of Dahua / Hikvision, 420 - 4 on Oct 21, 2021
The US House, by a 420 - 4 vote, passed a bill to "ensure" that the FCC "does...
PRC State-Owned Entity Acquires 10% of Hytera on Oct 11, 2021
Hytera has sold a 10% stake to a PRC China state-owned investment entity,...
Hikvision, HWG Deceive FCC About New Critical Vulnerability [Update: Hikvision Issues Correction] on Sep 23, 2021
Hikvision and its law firm, HWG, deceived the FCC in a lengthy submission...
Panasonic iPro Asks For Huawei Chips To Be Exempt From FCC Ban on Sep 23, 2021
Panasonic's multi-year effort to support ongoing Huawei Hisilicon chip usage...
PRC China Alleges FCC Ban Plan Is Discriminatory, Violates WTO on Sep 21, 2021
The PRC (China) has submitted comments on the FCC plan to ban Dahua,...
Hikvision Has "Highest Level of Critical Vulnerability," Impacting 100+ Million Devices on Sep 20, 2021
Hikvision has admitted a 9.8 vulnerability that is "the highest level of...
40+ Alternatives to Dahua & Hikvision For Video Surveillance Camera Manufacturing on Aug 17, 2021
As bans against Dahua and Hikvision rise (from Taiwan's ban to the US NDAA...
Nelly’s Discontinuing Hikvision on Jul 09, 2021
One of Hikvision's most vocal OEM partners, who in the past bragged about...
SIA And USA National Security Threat Hikvision Co-Present Cybersecurity on Jul 07, 2021
The US Security Industry Association worked with US national security threat...
UK CCTV User Group Warns of Ethical, Financial, Reputational, and Technical Risks of Using Dahua and Hikvision on Jul 06, 2021
Until now, the UK CCTV industry has been silent about Dahua and Hikvision's...
Eagle Eye Is Winding Down 'Partnership' With Hikvision on Jul 01, 2021
While Eagle Eye Networks has been partnered with Hikvision for years, doing...

Comments (38)

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If the FCC does ban Chinese surveillance equipment, many ordinary Americans will suffer the consequences as local governments, police departments, schools and hospitals become more vulnerable that the kind of horrific violence that has become all too common in the United States today.

I am glad to hear they are so concerned for our collective well-being. Quite the stretch thinking it will have any impact on "horrific violence" levels one way or the other.

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It could also be viewed as a threat.

Maybe someone should tell CGTN that there are plenty of security products on the market that do not come from these 5 entities.

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I wonder who will be financially or legally responsible to replace equipment. Manufacturer, Distributor, Integrator or End User...

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My guess would be manufacturer and end users...

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My guess would be manufacturer and end users...

What is the reasoning that integrators would avoid responsibility? The only scenarios I could see that being the case is if there was a consultant involved or the customer specified the equipment.

I believe that mostly the end user will be responsible for the cost. The end user will hold the integrator responsible. In turn, this will roll up to the distributor to the manufacturer. With the distributors and manufacturers having increasingly greater legal representation and a couple layers of isolation Joe Trunkslammer will be at the bottom of the hill. If end users pursue the integrator - what integrator who sold Hikua to hundreds of end users would have the financial means to defend against multiple legal threats from clients if things went that way?

When I think back to the patent trolling suits from a few years back I see the integrator getting the biggest blowback when the end user is attacked. Whether the integrator loses a customer or the customer chooses to go after the integrator, there is no positive outcome if the customer is threatened with fees.

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There is a good chance a lot of Companies will be playing "Musical Chairs Integrator" over the next couple of years. At the end of the day it will be depend on the End User, but I can see a lot of shifting in the landscape in the weeks to come...

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Hold the phone. Does this action revoke existing FCC authorizations? Or just prohibit new ones? That is a very important distinction that will determine whether this is just a case of integrators needing to source new products, or whether "schools, hospitals, etc." will now collectively need to spend potentially billions of dollars. If the latter, you can guarantee pushback and demands for subsidies.

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This is explained here - FCC Passes Ban Rulemaking Process Of Dahua and Hikvision

Short answer is that it depends on the final decision.

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Billions? My guess is schools, hospitals, businesses will do nothing with this ban unless forced to do so by threats of fines. Heck, even state and local governments that have this equipment probably won't do anything.

They certainly won't buy more, but unless the cameras stop working no one will actually replace them other than feds. They can't even tell who is alive or dead and you expect them to know who has these cameras at their facilities? I don't think so.

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They can't even tell who is alive or dead and you expect them to know who has these cameras at their facilities?

In defense of the government, people die every day. Between the moment that stimulus checks are sent out and the time they arrive, individuals, unfortunately, pass away.

From the CNBC article:

The payments are based on either 2018 or 2019 tax returns, so some individuals who filed still received payments, even though they have since passed away.

Sadly I think we all know people who were around in 2018 who are no longer with us today. Government isn't perfect, but this one isn't entirely their fault.

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The United States, without any evidence, still abuses national security and state power to suppress Chinese companies

So with that being said there should be no reason for the Chinese government to ban the import of western cameras into China.

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What country does not abuse national security and state power?

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there should be no reason for the Chinese government to ban the import of western cameras into China.

That already happened nearly a decade ago. Related, China: Foreign Video Surveillance Is Security Risk.

How do you think Hikua got so big? They effectively blocked out foreign companies, including Asian ones, so that their domestic companies could dominate.

Axis and Avigilon have virtually no market share in the PRC despite the clear strengths of their offerings. And it is not about low cost because as we have examined in PRC contracts, the government is spending too dollar on video surveillance systems, e.g. Hikvision Wins $46 Million Provincial Capital Project Direct and Dahua Direct $9 Million Jiexiu Small City, Big Deal

Also a few years ago foreign VSaaS companies were formally blocked out of China as we covered here - China Enforces Barriers Against Foreign AI and VSaaS Providers.

Whatever the US is doing here, the PRC has already done years ago to foreign companies without the equivalent press coverage and formal scrutiny of a true democratic process. Does that make sense Nick?

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John,

My question was somewhat factious. They say that there is no security risk for Chinese cameras in our country as long as we keep network integrity, like any other network appliance. But if western companies try to do business in China it is a security risk.

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But if western companies try to do business in China it is a security risk

got it! I wanted to assume it was serious in case you or others literally get this way.

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And of course, China wants to control the network as well - Huawei networking, etc.

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You mean like they always effictively have?

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Am I correct to assume this with include all OEM’s of these manufacturers?

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Yes, since it's based on the NDAA ban which is for equipment produced by, not simply branded by those companies.

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Is there any reasonable speculation as to when the proposed ban would begin?

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2

30 day comment period ends July 17

Vote on both rules Aug 17th

So ban on selling and import could start Aug 18th.

The window to come into compliance with the second rule (use) is the question; could be a month, could be 90 days (my bet) but certainly no more than a year.

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Thanks for your comment! It's good to bring this up, however, your timeline is not correct.

30 day comment period ends July 17

Public comments are only allowed for 30 days once the proposed rule has been published in the Federal Register. While the rule has been released by the FCC, it has not yet been published in the Federal Register. Once that happens, comments will be open.

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Vote on both rules Aug 17th

There is no FCC meeting on August 17. Regardless, because the Federal Register publication hasn't happened yet, we don't know which meeting will address this.

The FCC explains that comments and reply comments take 60 days after Federal Register publication. After that and the FCC's analysis of the comments, it decides whether to publish the final rule. If it does, the final rule generally takes effect at least 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. However, "agencies sometimes will set compliance dates that are later than the effective date of the rule", so it could go into effect later.

The window to come into compliance with the second rule (use) is the question; could be a month, could be 90 days (my bet) but certainly no more than a year.

We don't have enough information yet to speculate on a specific date or even month. All we know is that it will take a minimum of 90 days after the NPRM is published in the Federal Register (which hasn't happened yet) for anything to take effect.

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Thanks for setting me straight. I should have prefaced everything with "What I thought I heard and read" 🙃 So how will we know it's been published in the Federal register?

I found the FCC meeting schedule this year. August 5, 2021 is too soon. Is September 30, 2021 a possibility or is October 26, 2021 more likely for the vote? They seemed pretty eager to move this along so I doubt we would go to November 18, 2021 or even December 14, 2021.

I am now realizing that we not only would have to accelerate the replacement of the truvision cameras but the replacement of the Truvision NVRs which means we select and implement the replacement VMS in whatever timeframe gets attached to the rule.

Original plan, budget and timeline target was completion by Summer 2023. If rule 2 goes into effect the timing is critical cause we split the budget over 2 fiscal years so we might need to finance an accelerated schedule.

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No worries, happy to help as it can definitely get confusing.

So how will we know it's been published in the Federal register?

IPVM checks the Federal Register daily - whenever the proposed rule is published, we will update our articles & post a comment to remind everyone.

Is September 30, 2021 a possibility or is October 26, 2021 more likely for the vote? They seemed pretty eager to move this along so I doubt we would go to November 18, 2021 or even December 14, 2021.

Without knowing the Federal Register publication date, it's too difficult to speculate.

Original plan, budget and timeline target was completion by Summer 2023. If rule 2 goes into effect the timing is critical cause we split the budget over 2 fiscal years so we might need to finance an accelerated schedule.

If the FCC does go forward with the recalls ('rule 2' - although part of the same rule), they are aware it is logistically difficult and are seeking comment on an "appropriate and reasonable transition period":

We nonetheless recognize the need to avoid taking actions that are overbroad in terms of affecting users of the equipment or would require removal of this equipment faster than it reasonably can be replaced. If we conclude that revocation may be appropriate regarding particular “covered” equipment, we seek comment on the appropriate and reasonable transition period for removing that particular equipment [emphasis added]

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UPDATE 8/22: The Federal Register has now published the NPRM, meaning public comments are open until September 20 and responses to those original comments ('reply comments') are due on October 18:

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The FCC page details several methods for submitting comments:

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See this is why we are IPVM members. Thanks. 👍

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If you examine any brand, from cybersecurity standpoint every single one of them has a vulnerability and threat to national security. FCC - really need(s) to rethink this, they should implement stronger policies on getting product certifications, vs completely shutting down the brands as it will impact everyone in the industry. Now NDAA approved brands will start jacking the prices up, and you pretty much left with no alternatives for your client.

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If you examine any brand, from cybersecurity standpoint every single one of them has a vulnerability and threat to national security.

Peter, since you are making this claim, you evidently have the evidence for this. Can you share for Avigilon or Bosch or other large manufacturers what evidence you have to support this contention?

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Now NDAA approved brands will start jacking the prices up, and you pretty much left with no alternatives for your client.

Wasn't it Hikvision and Dahuas plan to drop pricing so low that other manufacturers would go out of business or give up then raise pricing on everything so clients would be left with no alternatives?

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Definitely, Hikvision and Dahua's plans were/are to be the biggest in every market but it's not clear to me, and I have not seen evidence, that they explicitly aimed to ultimately raise prices when (theoretically) no one else was left.

This type of thing is a concern in many markets, e.g., Amazon so it's certainly a risk.

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Conor and Gurami,

While the focus of your article and video are focused on national security, I feel there was one important detail that was missed putting this report and summary video together.

During the FCC June Open Agenda Meeting, at 12:20 in the FCC YouTube video, Commissioner Brendan Carr reveals the goal of the proceeding and states the quiet part out loud.

"We’re launching this proceeding with a simple and important goal, to protect our communications networks and, in turn, our national security. At the same time this is also about what I’ve described as our 5G values. Values that communist China clearly does not share with the United States or other democratic nations.

I’m pleased that my FCC colleagues and I are working together to ensure that companies supplying equipment integral to our networks, are ones we can trust, and are ones that share our commitment to transparency, rule of law, and human rights."

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Can anyone give me an update on the original black list situation? Can my company sign a contract (to provide a product of goods and services) with the federal government although our locations use Hikvision cameras?

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Can anyone give me an update on the original black list situation? Can my company sign a contract (to provide a product of goods and services) with the federal government although our locations use Hikvision cameras?

I am not a lawyer. This is not legal advice.

How many Hikvision cameras/devices do you have on your locations? I would advocate to remove them. Nothing prevents you from signing a contract, but the risks of being blacklisted are there and increase every day.

EDIT: Also check if the contract mentions NDAA 2018 section 889 or the relevant Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR). I have seen this written into every Federal RFP that has come across my desk.

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UPDATE: The Federal Register has now published the NPRM, meaning public comments are open until September 20 and responses to those original comments ('reply comments') are due on October 18:

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The FCC page details several methods for submitting comments:

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It states the "Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act of 2019 resolution and its stated goal to provide "a mechanism to prevent communications equipment or services that pose a national security risk from entering US networks." Note that the concern is a product that can pose a national security risk from entering US networks. What if one of these companies is simply providing hardware (plastic and/or metal) that are contained in a product? There would be no cyber risk, so would that be allowed?

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What if one of these companies is simply providing hardware (plastic and/or metal) that are contained in a product? There would be no cyber risk, so would that be allowed?

Who is doing this? I don't know of such a case with Dahua and Hikvision.

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Dahua simply sources hardware for some manufactures. Due to their buying power, their costs are much less.

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Dahua does not 'simply source hardware for some manufacturers'. For the case of Bosch, Dahua was the actual contract manufacturer who 'produced' the equipment. But Bosch is no longer using Dahua for contract manufacturing any US cameras so why is this a concern or consideration?

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