Senators Question Amazon On Dahua 'Uyghur Warnings'By Charles Rollet, Published Feb 11, 2021, 08:20am EST
Two US Senators sent a letter questioning Amazon after IPVM and the LA Times exposed Dahua's "real-time Uyghur warnings" for China police.
In a letter to Jeff Bezos, the Senators criticized that Amazon "willfully ignored guidance from the United States government and purchased equipment from an entity-listed company that is complicit in China’s atrocities against the Uyghurs.”
The letter also calls the 'Uyghur warnings' revelations "extremely disturbing", showcasing the risk of having any Dahua associations as the US government considers "transactions of any nature" with a sanctioned firm to be a "Red Flag".
Amazon's $10m Dahua Fever Cam Deal
Last summer, Reuters reported that Amazon had bought ~1,500 Dahua fever cameras in a $10 million deal for temperature screening in its warehouses. The purchase happened well after Dahua was sanctioned by the US government for human rights abuses against Uyghurs in October 2019 by being added to the 'Entity List'.
Senators: Dahua News "Extremely Disturbing", Firm "Complicit In Genocide"
Following the IPVM/LAT articles, Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) issued a joint letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos about "troubling contracts" with Dahua:
The letter criticized Amazon for the Dahua fever cam deal, noting this "willfully ignored" US government guidance:
Last year, Amazon entered into a deal reportedly worth $10 million to buy 1,500 cameras from Dahua Technology, even though the U.S. Department of Commerce had already labeled the company as being “involved, or to pose a significant risk of being or becoming involved, in activities contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States.” If these allegations against Dahua are true, it would mean that Amazon willfully ignored guidance from the United States government and purchased equipment from an entity-listed company that is complicit in China’s atrocities against the Uyghurs [emphasis added]
The letter asked four questions to Bezos:
- Were you aware that Dahua Technology was on the Commerce Department’s Entity List when your company entered into negotiations with, and subsequently agreed to, a $10 million contract with them? If so, when were you made aware of the Entity List designation? Was it a factor in your deliberations about sourcing such equipment?
- When did you become aware of the reports of Dahua Technology’s participation in China’s state surveillance system against the Uyghurs and other groups targeted by the party-state?
- After the November 2020 reports that source code was found specifically related to surveilling Uyghurs in Dahua’s SDK, did Amazon have any pending contracts with Dahua? Were any contracts completed after this information came to light?
- What criteria does Amazon use to determine when to terminate a business relationship with an entity that engages in human rights violations? If Amazon does not have such a criteria, will it develop one in light of the recent Dahua related reports?
When Amazon/Bezos responds to these questions, IPVM will update this article.
"Red Flag" For Sanctioned Entity Transactions
This letter is an important reminder that transactions with Dahua carries risk - indeed, as IPVM has already reported, the US government considers any transactions with an Entity Listed company to carry a 'red flag:
Risk to Dahua USA And Anyone Who Associates With Dahua
Dahua USA has continued to profit despite its October 2019 human rights sanctions, capitalizing on 2020's fever cam 'Gold Rush' (even before the FDA permitted it) with sales to big clients like Amazon and Six Flags (whose deployment violated FDA guidelines.) Moreover, IPVM testing revealed Dahua rigged those fever cameras.
Now, the revelation of Dahua's 'Uyghur warnings' and the resulting Senators' letter shows these sanctions risk impacting not only Dahua but those who do business with Dahua.
Questions Sent To ADI, Bosch, and SIA
IPVM sent a similar set of questions to ADI, Bosch, and SIA. ADI is Dahua's largest North American distribution partner. Bosch continues to partner with Dahua for contract manufacturing and Dahua is a member of the Security Industry Association and one of SIA / ISC's largest exhibitors. We asked them for a response by the end of business tomorrow, February 12th. We will update this on Monday, February 15th with any responses or lack thereof.
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