Opposing the Hikvision / Dahua Ban

Author: IPVM Team, Published on Aug 22, 2018

Here is a case against the US government ban of Dahua and Hikvision.

IPVM collected 160+ responses from integrators, dozens of which opposed the ban. Below is a collection of key themes and these integrator's case of why they are against the ban.

#1 - Isolate / Protect The Network

The most common theme amongst those opposing the ban was that if video surveillance is blocked from providing any remote access than even if vulnerabilities exist, they cannot be exploited. Comments included:

  • "No. This is a witch hunt driven by the expensive camera manufacturers. If you don't secure your network and change admin passwords you have problems with any brand of cameras."
  • "No. I understand why this ban was introduced but every other large manufacturers also have P2P in their cameras. This makes every manufacturer vulnerable to a hack. We simply need to require manufacturers to allow installers to simply disable P2P and force password changes."
  • "It is possible to lock down these camera systems from the vulnerabilities that are known. I think that a strong advisory and limited use application of more appropriate. Also, where does it stop. By adding Dahua into this mix, I am concerned about where you draw the line. Most all our products in the US have electronics that are manufactured or sourced from China with some possible ties to the government funding."
  • "No, I personally feel that as long as the User has a robust firewall, there should be no issues with ANY IP cameras."
  • "No, I think it's unrealistic to think there is a backdoor because it would be a "one time shot" if discovered. Also it's just as likely that Cameras made in another country have a back door too."
  • "No. The security issues are only issues should the device be allowed to see 'the outside world'. If the network is designed correctly and securely, the devices are on their own vlan, to a dedicated secure VMS, there should be no issue. Plenty of other brands have security issues that somehow don't seem to be an issue. As government projects are essentially paid for by the taxpayers money, the appropriate performing product should be used. If that means it is a cheaper chinese made product that performs to spec or out performs an american made product, then the chinese product should be used.
  • "If it is a closed system with no internet access, I think the ban is ridiculous."
  • "If cameras are installed properly on a dark network then the vuneralibilities are contained."
  • "No. If our biggest fear is that we have such porous IT infrastructure then we need to repair the infrastructure, not ban manufacturers."

#2 Undermine Free Market

The second most common theme was that the ban undermined the free market:

  • "No. This is an interference in the free market, as an official ban / law affects the entire global marketplace. There could just as easily be a memo sent to all that those devices shall not be installed on any facility, and further, that all such devices must be replaced as soon as possible. An actual law was unnecessary."
  • "I do not support the ban. When goods cannot cross borders, armies will. If the Chinese government wants to spy on the US (as it surely does, and as we do with respect to them), there are many other vectors for them to shift to if they were/are actually embedding back doors in Hikvision and/or Dahua cameras."
  • "I think it's just another element of the trade wars and isolationism which is getting more popular in the world these days. And the cybersecurity issues were just used as a cause to hit China."
  • "I don't support the ban - I believe the security problems that Hikvision had, have been fixed (we haven't sold Dahua) & I believe in a free market where competition is good and government should keep a "hands off" approach in the marketplace. Competition is good for the consumer, & the government is the largest consumer in the US."
  • "No. The ban is an extension of Trumps xenophobic trade ban and has been cobbled together by Politian's with no knowledge or experience of the CCTV industry. Its an entirely knee jerk reaction to garner populist votes. The same vote could have been applied to any product manufactured in China and would have had a similar response. Under Trump the US is becoming isolated, even more insular, xenophobic and is seeking confrontation on every front - EXCEPT in its support of Putin and Kim Jong-Un who have disgusting human rights records, proven state hacking profiles and are dictators - presumably what Trump is aspiring to with his ignorance of trade and his disgraceful treatment of allies and trading partners. Without a shadow of doubt the ban is an extension of this ignorance and supported by people with the same insular views."
  • "Any limitation of the competition brings the economy to the Soviet Union model of the planned economy, kills the innovations and motivation."

#3 Negative For the Industry

The third theme was that the ban was negative for the industry:

  • "I don't support the ban. The threat is exaggerated. Protectionist trends hurt and reward those undeserving of the outcomes. Not good for consumers, not good for business."
  • "Negative in terms of pricing/innovation."
  • "Negative. Other brand will increase there prices because of lack of lower price products."
  • "It for sure will be a negative on the industry. Limiting competition stifles innovation."
  • "Negative. It will drive prices up, as the competitors no longer compete on price and features but reputation and politics."
  • "Negative impact overall. It's not good when the government creates legislation to control the marketplace & tries to protect competitors who are weaker, with regulations."
  • "Will drive price back up and could have a potential negative impact overall."
  • "Positive to big American companies that will increase their profits and rip off the end user because they will have no one to keep their prices in check."

Indeed, according to one commenter, the winner is IPVM:

the US will be the only loser. Winners? IPVM through tabloid reporting and Johns continual tirade against Hik - with get greater coverage, more subscriptions and make John that much richer. Perhaps help paying for a family holiday in China?

1 report cite this report:

The 2019 Video Surveillance Industry Guide on Dec 10, 2018
The 300 page, 2019 Video Surveillance Industry Guide, covers the key events and the future of the video surveillance market, is now available,...
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