Hikvision Refuses UK Surveillance Camera Commissioner Inquiries On Human Rights Abuses

By Charles Rollet, Published Aug 10, 2021, 08:11am EDT

The UK's Surveillance Camera Commissioner wrote a letter to Hikvision inquiring about 'human rights abuses' yet Hikvision has so far refused to answer, offering a meeting instead - which the Commissioner declined until Hikvision provides a written and public "substantive response".

Watch the 2-minute video that explains the issues involved:

This comes a month after the UK Foreign Affairs Committee recommended a full ban of Hikvision in the UK.

Inside this report, we examine the letters and share input from the Commissioner, Fraser Sampson, in an interview he did with IPVM.

UPDATE August 11, 2021: After IPVM's report was published, Hikvision responded, ignoring most of the Commissioner's questions and stating it is "very difficult" to "publicly answer narrow pointed questions on paper" as this "leads to more questions and a kangaroo trial by media", while falsely claiming "operational matters are not within our remit" despite its huge direct deals with Xinjiang police.

IPVM Image

The Commissioner accepted Hikvision's offer of meeting with Ambassador Pierre-Richard Prosper, the D.C. lawyer Hikvision hired who determined the PRC firm did not "knowingly or intentionally" abuse human rights in Xinjiang.

Inquiries ********

IPVM Image

*** ********** *** ************ Camera ***************** *********, ** * July **, **** ************* ********* ***** *** Xinjiang *********** ***** ********* UK ********* *** ******* Affairs *********'**** **************, *********:

  • "******* **** ****** ********** has ** **** **** used ** *** ****** internment *****"
  • "******* *** ****** **** basic *******, ****** **** crimes *** ***** ********* against *** *******"
  • "** ** **** ******** that ********* *** ** knowledge ** *** ***(*) of *** ************ ****** systems ** *** ********** facilities?

** ********, ********* *** offered * *******, *** the ************ ******** ***** Hikvision ******** * ******* and ****** "*********** ********", which ********* *** *** to **.

******* *** **** ****** for ******** *** ************ Camera **** *** ********** talks ** *** "***** and ************** ** *****-*********** ownership". ******* **** **** he ******** ****** "*******" and "*** *********" ** providers *** *** * full **-***** *********.

Background ** ************ ****** ************, ****

*** ********** *** ************ Camera ************ ** * UK ********** ******** (******** England *** ***** ****, not ********) ******** ** encourage ********** **** *************** ****** **** ** Practice, * *** ** 2013 ********** *** ***** police *** **** ******** for ****** ******* **** film ****** ******.

*** **** ** *** Code, ********'* ***** ***** ****.

*** ******** ** *** UK's ******* ** ***** of ************ ****** ********** but ******* ** ****** enforcement ** ********** ******. In *****, *** ********** Commissioner *** ************ ****** Commissioner (**** ********)**** ********* *** *** **** appointed ********* *******, * ****** ****** officer *** ******* ******/********* ********** ********************* ** ********.

Angry ********* ** ****** ** ******** ********

IPVM Image

**** ****, *** ********************* * **** **, 2021 ********* ********** ** ** ******** denouncing *** ** ******* Affairs *********'* ************** **** Hikvision "*** ** ********* to ******* ** *** UK" **** *** "*********** with *** ******** **********", namely ********* "*** ******* camera ********** **** ** the ********** *****".

** *** ******* ******, Hikvision ********* *** *********'* recommendation ** "***************", "*** underpinned ** ********", "****-****", "motivated ** ********* **********", "a ********** ****", *** more: :

** ***** ****** *** report ****** ******* **** by *** ******* **** Hikvision **** **** ******** throughout ******** *** ******* the ******* ****** ********** used ** *** ********** camps. **** **unsubstantiated *** *** *********** ** ********. Based on these assertions the Committee has recommended a ban ** *********. This knee **** ******** ** ******** ****************, ***-********, *** ********** *** ****** **** **** ** ********* ** ********* **********. This is a staggering **** for the Committee to make, and is not ***** ** *** ******** ********. Having done so, this sends an unacceptable ******* ** *** ***** **** ******* ******** ***** ****** ******. [emphasis added]

******** ** *** ****** the ************** ** "***************", Hikvision ** ****** ******** in ********; ** ********* disclosed ** *******-****-******,** ** ********** ** build *** ******* **** huge ******** ****** ************ projects:

IPVM Image

***** ********* ******** - some ** ***** ************** *** **-********* ***** and *******- **** *** ****** Norway's *********** ******* ** Ethics***** *** *******'*"***** ****** ****** ** be *******".

*********'* ****** ** ************** *** ********** ** its ******** ***************** ********* *** *** "knowingly ** *************" ****** human ****** ****** **** it ******* **** *** five ********:

IPVM Image

********* *** ******** *********** resources ** ********** *** corporate ********** ********* ********* retaining ***** ***, *** by ***** ****** ****** and ****** ** ********** Pierre-Richard *******, ** ****** on ***** ****** **********. Importantly, ********* ** *************, the ***** *** **** concluded ****, ‘** *** end,we ** *** **** that Hikvision entered into the five projects in Xinjiang with the intent to knowingly engage in human rights abuses or find that Hikvision knowingly ** ************* ********* ***** ****** ****** itself or that it acted in wilful disregard.’ [emphasis added]

Inquires ** ********* '*********** **** *** ******** **********'

** **** **,******* **** * ****** to ****************** ***** *** ****** to ********, ****** ** what ****** ** ********* "associated **** *** ******** atrocities":

*** ******** *** *********’* finding **** **** ******* have **** ******** ********** Xinjiang *** ******* *** primary ****** ********** **** in *** ****** ********** camps ** “*************** *** not *********** ** ********”. Again,it *** *** **** ***** ** ** ******* ********* *** ******* **** ***** ******* **** **** ** ********. The paragraph in the Committee’s report from which you quote in fact recommends the proscription of companies known to be associated **** *** ******** *********s, of which Hikvision is said to be one. I would be grateful if *** ***** ******* ******* **** ****** ********** *** ** **** **** **** ** *** ****** ********** ***** and whether you accept that there is, at least to that extent, such an ‘association’. [emphasis added]

******* ***** ******* ********* accepts "**** ***** *******" that "****** *** ***** committed ******* *** *******":

** ** ******* **** your ****** ** ************ partnerswhether *** ****** **** ***** *******, ****** **** ****** *** ***** ********* ******* *** ******* and other ethnic groups in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and I would be grateful if you could clarify this at the outset. [emphasis added]

*********** ******** *** ***************** ********* *** *** "knowingly ** *************" ****** human ****** ******, ******* asked ** ** ** thus *********'* ******** **** it "*** ** *********" of *** ******* ** the ******** *****:

Is ** **** ******** **** ********* *** ** ********* ** *** ***(*) ** *** ************ ****** ******* ** *** ********** **********? This would seem to be incongruous with your welcome assurance that Hikvision “hold our products to the industry’s highest global cybersecurity standards” and I think clarity is particularly important here. [emphasis added]

Hikvision ******* ******** ***** "*********** ********"

**************** ********* ** ****** * without ********** ** *** questions *** ****** *** "a ******* ** **** to **** *******" ** discuss ***** "******* *******". But ******* **** **** he ***** "******** ******* with **** **** * have ******** * ********" to *** ******* *** would "******* *** ******** correspondence ** *** *******."

******* **** **** **** generally, "* ******* ******** to *********" ** ** "open ***** *** ****** criticism":

*** ** *** *** indicators ** * ******* response ** *********, *** open ***** *** ****** criticism ******* ****’* *** you *********** ********* ** proper ********* **************, ******** less **** **** ****** to ****** **** ** things **** *** *** [original] *******

**************** ** ******** *********** * ******* **** Hikvision "**** ** *** up ***** * *********** response ** *** ******".

UPDATE: ********* ********, ************ ******* *******

****************** ** ************** **** ** *** questions, ****** *** *** one ***** ******* ********* accepts "**** ***** *******" that "****** *** ***** committed ******* *** *******"; Hikvision ****** ** ** "not * ********* ******* to ****** ** **** matter":

** * ****** ********** and ************,we ******* ********* ** *** * ********* ******* to decide on this matter. Moreover, it is beyond *** ********** ** **** * ********* ** **** ******, particularly against a backdrop where the debate surrounding the Xinjiang issue comes with clashing geopolitical views. [emphasis added]

********* ******* ******* "*********** matters *** *** ****** our *****" ******* *** huge ****** ***** **** Xinjiang ****** ***** ******* Hikvision ******* **** *** decades:

** ** **** ***** stating ****we ** *** ******* *** ******* *** ******* once they are passed to installers and we have no access to our devices without users’ authorisation. Operational ******* *** *** ****** *** *****. [emphasis added]

**** ** ** "**** difficult" ** "******** ****** narrow ******* ********* ** paper" ** **** "***** to **** ********* *** a ******** ***** ** media":

** **very ********* for international corporations to publicly answer narrow pointed questions on paper. This usually leads to more questions and a kangaroo ***** ** *****. As they say, it is better to look at all the evidence and come to a verdict rather than come to a verdict and then look for evidence. [emphasis added]

********* ******* * ******* with ********** ******-******* *******, the ************ ********* ******** ************* ******* *** *** "knowingly ** *************" ***** human ******, ** "****** your ********* *** ** that ** *** ******* to *** *** ********."

*** ************'* ****** **** IPVM **** ******** **** meeting:

our ****** *** ***** ** *** ***** **** ********* for a meeting with Ambassador Pierre-Richard Prosper, the former US Ambassador at Large for War Crimes, in order to further discuss the matter. [emphasis added]

Hikvision ******** *******

********* ******** ** ******* to **** *** **** article.

"On **** ******** *****" *** ***** ** ***** ** ***** ********** **** **********

IPVM Image

** ** ********* **** IPVM, ************ ******* ********** whether "****** *****" ****** be ***** ** ********* "associated **** ***** **** of **********" ** ********, stating **** ****** ****** only "****** ***'** **** to ******** ******** **********":

** **** ************ **associated **** ***** **** ** **********, on what possible ***** ***** ** *** ****** ***** ** ********** ** **** ******* on a business basis and on what ethical basis would we think that the citizens would like us to do so in any event? Unless ***’** **** ** ******** ******** ********** *** ************ **** ***** **********, it’s not enough to say we simply supply the products. That is simply ******** ** **** *** ***** ***, and I think we’ve lived through enough decades to know it’s not an acceptable position and its kind of a craven avoidance of accepting responsibility [emphasis added]

*******, ******* **** ** did *** ******* * US-style '*********' ** *********, instead ******* *** * more ******** "******* *******" based ** "*********, ******, and ***":

I ***’* ***** *** ****** **** ** ********* ***** ** ********* ** ******** **** **** ** ***'* ** ********, because as soon as you produce a list quite often you realize there's people on it who aren’t ought to be [...] it's much more about understanding the principles in advance

** *** *** ** individual ** * **** place ** *** ***** value *********** *** **'* some **** ** ****** to ******** ****, **’* well-understood **** ** **** of *** *********, ***put **** ******* * ******* ******* *** ******* ****** *** ********** ** **** and it seems ** ** ** **** ** ** **** ** **** **** ****** *************.

** **** ** *****practices, ******, *** *** [Corporate Social Responsibility] right from the start. [emphasis added]

"Pressing **** ** *******" ******* "***** **************** *********"

** **** **,******* **** * ******** ** ******** ** State *** **** *************** ************* *** "******** **** to *******" *** "***** and ************** ** ************ camera ******* ***** **************** ownership".

IPVM Image

******* ***** **** "***** from *****-******" *** *** rise ** "*******-**-*-******* (****) and ******-**-*-**** (***)" ********* "renewed ********* *** *********, audit *** **********". ******* added **** "********* *** purchasers ** ************ ****** systems **** ********* *** guidance" ** ***** ******, especially "***** ***********":

Direct ********* ********** ** *** *********** ** ***** ****** ****** in the specific context of surveillance camera technology has **** ****** ******** ** *** ***** ** ******* ******* ******* ********* (at paras 58-59). Having set out the evidence against which it reached its conclusions, the Committee goes on to make a number of recommendations which will be a matter for others. It is clear however that operators *** ********** ** ************ ****** ******* **** ********* *** ******** ** *** ******** ************-******* ******, particularly where those operators and purchasers are ***** ***********; there is also a growing public interest in this aspect of surveillance policy.

******* ***** ***** ** an "************ *********** ** address *** ***** *** considerations ***** ** *** revised ******* ** *** Code ***** ****** **** "economic **************" *** **** to ** ******* ******* other ********. ******** **** urged *** **** *** only ***** ***** *********** and ******, *** ** a ******** ***** ** well.

******** ******** *** *** to *****, **** *** does, **** **** ******.

Human ****** "*** ** ** *********"

************ ******* **** **** that ***** ************ ****** Code ********** *********** ********** ** ***** Rights, *** ***** ****** issue "*** ** ** addressed" *** **** * "requirement", ************ **** **** "is ***** ****** **** public *****":

[***** ******]has ** ** *********, it’s more about the applicability of the Code andmaking ** * *********** rather than the specific content [of the Code]. Particularly when [equipment] is being ****** **** ****** *****, if that’s the case, then those who represent the citizens should probably reflect what those concerns and expectations should be. [emphasis added]

******* ***** **** "*** relationship ******* *** ******** and *** ******** **** become **** *********", ******* operators ****** "** ******* of *** ********** ** the *********":

* ***** **** ** you *** ********* * surveillance ****** ******, **** you **** ** **assured ** *** ********** ** *** ********* and the provider and you will need to be assured now and in the future of the way in which its products is being used [...] The relationship between the operator *** *** ******** **** ****** **** ********* [emphasis added]

**** ***** ************ ******* about **** *** ********* to *** **** ***** happen, ******* ******* *** not **** * ***** timeline.

Contrast **** ***********

*******'* ********* ***** ** contrast ** *** *********** Tony ******, *********** ************* ********* ** ***************** *****-****** * ***** **** Hikvision ** ***** ****:

IPVM Image

***** ****, **** ********* ****** ** ****** recognition **** ******** **.** ********, ****** ******************* *** *** ************ and *** *********.

Analysis: ********* ** ** ***** ****

********* ** ** ** a ********* ********. *** *** *****-********** ***************** ******** ***********,** ** ******** ** will ****** *** ******** activities *** ****** ** Uyghur ****** ******. *******, if ** ******* *** Commissioner's *******, ** ***** drawing **** ******* ******** towards ******. ******** *******, none ** ** ***** well *** ********* **'* long-term ********, ***** *** grown ** **********.

Next *****

** *** **, * next ***** *** ***********. One, ********* ***** *******, in *******, ** ********* to *** ************'* *********. However, ** **** **** already ******** ** ** so *** ** *** been **** **** * weeks, **** *** *** happen. ********, *** ** government *** ******* ** the ******* ******* ********* Report.

** ** **** *** of ***** ** *****, we **** ****** ***********.

Comments (10)

***** ** ********* *******! Hikvision's ****** ** ** spend******** ** ******* ******** governments, ***** ** ** closed ******** ***** **** try ** **** ******* and ****** ** **** the **** ** *** public.

** ***** ** ************* if ********* ******** ********* directly ** **** ******* questions ** **** ****, full ****, **** ** going ** *** *** determined ** (*** **) fool ****** **** "*** ** **** * law **** ** *** we *** *** **** what *** ***** ** in *** *** ********".

Agree: 4
Disagree
Informative: 2
Unhelpful
Funny

******: *****, *** ************ Camera ******************** *********'* ****** *** response ** *** ************'* letter. ** **, ***** refusing ** ****** *** inquiry ********, ********* **'* marketing ******** **** **** are "********* ** ******** fully *** ********** ** full":

*** ******** **** ******** and ****** *** *************. These *** ******* ******* and ******* *** *********. We *** ********* ** engaging ***** *** ********** in ****.

** ** **** *******, we *** **** ** hold * ******* ** face ** **** ******* at **** ******** *********** to ******* ***** ******* with ***.

***** *********,

****** ******

********* ******** – ** and *******

********* *** ***** ********, anywhere ** *** *****, addressed ***** ****** ****** in *** ******.

**** *** ************, ** urge ********* ** ******* this ******** *** *** hide ****** ****** **** government ********.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

UPDATE: ********* ********, ************ ******* *******

****************** ** ************** **** ** *** questions, ****** *** *** one ***** ******* ********* accepts "**** ***** *******" that "****** *** ***** committed ******* *** *******"; Hikvision ****** ** ** "not * ********* ******* to ****** ** **** matter":

** * ****** ********** and ************,we ******* ********* ** *** * ********* ********* ****** ** **** matter. ********, ** **beyond *** ********** ** **** * ********* ** **** ******, particularly against a backdrop where the debate surrounding the Xinjiang issue comes with clashing geopolitical views. [emphasis added]

********* ******* ******* "*********** matters *** *** ****** our *****" ******* *** huge ****** ***** **** Xinjiang ****** ***** ******* Hikvision ******* **** *** decades:

** ** **** ***** stating ****we ** *** ******* *** ******* *** *********** **** *** ****** to ********** *** ** have ** ****** ** our ******* ******* *****’ authorisation.Operational ******* *** *** ****** *** *****.[emphasis added]

********* **** ** ** "very *********" ** "******** answer ****** ******* ********* on *****" ** **** "leads ** **** ********* and * ******** ***** by *****":

** **very ************ ************* ************ ** publicly ****** ****** ******* questions ** *****. **** usually ***** ** **** questions *** *kangaroo ***** ** *****. As they say, it is better to look at all the evidence and come to a verdict rather than come to a verdict and then look for evidence. [emphasis added]

********* ******* * ******* with ********** ******-******* *******, the ************ ********* ******** ************* ******* *** *** "knowingly ** *************" ***** human ******, ** "****** your ********* *** ** that ** *** ******* to *** *** ********."

*** ************'* ****** **** IPVM **** ******** **** meeting:

our ****** *** ***** ** *** ***** **** *********for a meeting with Ambassador Pierre-Richard Prosper, the former US Ambassador at Large for War Crimes, in order to further discuss the matter. [emphasis added]

**** *** ***** *** Commissioner ******* **** *******'* results/discussions **** ** **** public, **** **** *******, we **** ******.

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 2
Unhelpful
Funny

** ** **** ***** stating ****we ** *** ******* *** ******* *** ******* once they are passed to installers and we have no access to our devices without users’ authorisation. Operational ******* *** *** ****** *** *****

****, ***********, **** ***** be ****, *** *** ones **** ******* *** manage ********** ** *** the ***** *** *** five ****** ******** ** kind ** **** ******** is ******* ***** *****....

Agree: 2
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

******: *** *** ** now ********* ** **** -**** ******** ********** ********* Uyghur ******** - *** News

*** ***********, *** ************ told *** *** **** "** *** "***********" **** what ** *** *****, and ******** *********** ** was ******* * "**** account"."

** *** ** ****** Commissioner ********* **** ******** with *********, ********* ***** its ******** ****** ******* yet.

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny

UPDATE: ************ ******** ***** **** ******** ****** ********

** ****** **, ************ Sampson***** * ******** ********** ******-******* ******* (who *** *********'* ******** Xinjiang *************) *********** ***** Hikvision's **** ****** ******** it ** ********** ** build *** ******* ** Xinjiang.

IPVM Image

*** ************ ******* *** that ***** ********* ** claimed "** ** *** oversee *** ******* *** devices," ***** ** "*********** evidence **** ******** *********".

*** ************ ***** *********'* Pishan ****** ****** ********** and ******* ****** ******** "close ***********" **** *********** under * ***** (****** Build ******* ******* ********) system *.*. ********* ** "actively *** *********" *************:

** ****** ** * “co-operation ******” *** *********** life ***** ** ***** is ** *****, ** which *** ************ ****** is * ****. ‘**-*********’ connotesactively *** ********* ******* with others to achieve an outcome and the winning bidder and delivery partner for this high value (335.99m youan) ‘social prevention and control programme’ is Hangzhou Hikvision System Technology Co. Ltd.

this ** **** ******* * ***** ********** *********** under which operational matters are expressly within the company’s contractual remit, intended to last for two decades [emphasis added]

*** ************ ***** ********* UK ** "******* *** role *** ************ ** Hikvision ** **** *******" and ** *** * other ******** ****** ************** ** *********'* **** annual ******:

IPVM Image

** *** ******, ************ Sampson ********** ***** ******* ********** ** Businesses *** ***** ******, ********* ******* *** the ***** ******** ********* ********** (********* 12) *** *** *********** that******** "******* ***********" ********** to ******* "***** ****** impact" (********* **):

*** ********** ******* ****, in *** *********,businesses ****** ******* *********** **** ** ********** to evaluate the adequacy of an enterprise’s response to theparticular ***** ****** ****** ******** (Principle 21 emphasis added) which could scarcely be more germane. [emphasis added]

*** ************ ****** *** information ******* "*** ******** consistent" **** **** ** "foundational *********" *** ** hopes ** *** *********'* "commitment ** ********* **":

** ******** *** **** information *** ******** ********** with **** ‘************ *********’ and * ** ********** to *** *********’* ********** to ********* **.

*******, *** ************ **** responded ** ********* ******* its ************* **** *** predecessor **** ******, ******* he ** "******* ** the ****** ** *** such *************" *** *********** the ********** ** "********* trust" *** "*********** *** transparency":

[********* **] ****** ** a ‘*************’ **** ** predecessor *****, ** ****, was “** ***** **** about ********* ***** ** the ************ ********”. *****I ** ******* ** *** ****** ** *** **** ************* I believe that fostering ***** is critical to the effective operation of surveillance camera systems as envisaged by my statutory functions and it is to that end that I am trying to obtain clarity, ************** ************ ** **** Justin ************ *** ******* matters. [******** *****]

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 2
Unhelpful
Funny

******: **** ***** *****, a ************ ****** ** the ***** ** *****,*** ******** ****** ******"******* **** ****** ** follow *** ******** ** the ********** ** *** United ****** ** ******* in ******* *********" *** "what ***** **** ****** to **** ** ********" to *** ************ ****** Commissioner's ************** **** *********:

IPVM Image

* ***** ** *** on ********* *.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

******: ******* ****** ******** ** state *** **********,********* ******** ** ********,*** ********* **** ******** ******* she ***** **** **** Commissioner ******* ** ** unspecified **** "** ********** ****** ****** ** the ************** **** *********." (IPVM *** ******* *** to *** ************ ***** whether **** *** ******** yet).

******** *** *** **** specifics ** *** ******** steps *** ** ********** would **** ** *********, stating ********* **** *** ** ** "*** aware ** * ****** of ******* ********** ********* linked ** ********** ****** place ** ********, *** are ********** *** ********* closely."

IPVM Image

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

UPDATE: Baroness Williams ****** ** * *************** **** *** ***** meet ************ ******* "*******" to "******* *** ****** ****** in *** ************** **** Hikvision", ******* ********* ***** details ** *** ******.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

******:********** ***** ******** *************** ****** ****, ************ ******* ***** that ** ******** "*** Code ***** ** ******* clear ********* *** ********" for *********** ****** "******* [...] ******** ** ********* under *****-*********** *********" *** that **** ****** ******** addressing "***** ****** ******":

IPVM Image

************ ******* **** ***** his ************** **** ********* (without ****** *** *******) and ****** ** *** Home ****** (***** ******** UK *** ***********) ** "apply" *** ****** ** address *** "****** ********" in *** ** ******* Affairs ********* ******, *********** *** * **** Hikvision ** ***:

IPVM Image

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny
Read this IPVM report for free.

This article is part of IPVM's 7,270 reports and 968 tests and is only available to subscribers. To get a one-time preview of our work, enter your work email to access the full article.

Already a subscriber? Login here | Join now
Loading Related Reports