The Security Industry Association Expels Dahua

By IPVM Team, Published Jun 08, 2021, 08:59am EDT

The Security Industry Association (SIA) has expelled Dahua for ethics violations.

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In 2020, SIA adopted Ethics Principles that members agreed to abide by; failing to do so results in "punitive action, ranging from a written warning to suspension of membership to expulsion from the association."

Dahua Expulsion

SIA issued the following public statement on Dahua's expulsion:

In accordance with the Code of Ethics and the policies and procedures accompanying it, the SIA Board of Directors has terminated the membership of Dahua Technology.

This was included in a generic post titled "SIA Supports Ethical Uses of Security Technology". SIA declined to comment on what specific ethical violations caused the termination or whether any other manufacturers, such as Hikvision (which was similarly sanctioned for human rights abuses and banned for cybersecurity risks), were being investigated for ethical issues.

Dahua Response

Dahua did not respond to IPVM's request for comment. If they do, we will update. [UPDATE, Dahua responded with a lengthy statement after publication. We have added it, in full, to the end of the report.]

Ethics Violations Of Dahua

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While SIA did not itemize the violations, Dahua has a significant track record of ethical issues, including:

While Hikvision has a track record of some similar issues (e.g. touting a Uyghur-detecting AI camera and rigging fever cams), it remains a SIA member and SIA declined to comment about whether it was investigating Hikvision too.

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IPVM Reported Dahua

IPVM filed an ethics violation complaint to SIA about Dahua in November 2020, following the first findings of Dahua's Uyghur tracking and amended our report to include the Dahua "Uyghur warnings" we co-reported with the LA Times in February 2021.

Practical Impact - Reputational, Not Direct Sales

While this termination is an unprecedented move showing the serious reputational risks Dahua faces, this will not directly block Dahua from any sales. To that end, Dahua could dismiss the termination, rightly arguing that they are as relatively free (albeit restricted due to the NDAA ban) to sell to US customers as they were before they were terminated. The impending FCC ban is a different and more serious risk Dahua is protesting.

Historically, SIA has been reluctant to criticize industry participants so this is a meaningful change for the organization, showing that it is serious about ethical concerns.

Reed Reevaluating Dahua ISC Participation

Reed, organizer of ISC East and West, with SIA being the premier sponsor, told IPVM it is "evaluating Dahua's participation":

We are aware of the statement issued by SIA on June 1st, and are evaluating Dahua’s participation in ISC West and ISC East in light of these reports and the change in SIA membership status.

Outlook

This is literally an unprecedented step for SIA, but a positive sign for the industry's increased awareness and commitment to holding participants to ethical standards.

UPDATE: Dahua Response

Dahua responded with the following statement, posted verbatim below:

The SIA’s decision to remove Dahua from the association for alleged failures to comply with its Code of Ethics was wrong. It was wrong on substance and the decision was reached through a deeply flawed process, and most importantly, lacked evidentiary basis. The SIA argued to us that the foundation for its decision is the fact that Dahua is on the U.S. Entity List. This strikes us as dubious for a number of reasons:

First, the decision to put our firm on the Entity List took place in 2019, yet the SIA never indicated to us that this status would prevent our continued membership. We paid our 2019, 2020 and 2021 dues and participated in the SIA activities during this period with no direct or indirect message from the SIA that our membership was at risk due to the government’s action.

Second, the Entity List by itself does not provide grounds to expel us from the association. The Entity List is not a ban on our operations in this market nor does it represent a fact-based assessment of our company’s operations. There is no due process associated with its compilation. Our company respects the right of the U.S. government to regulate its market as it sees fit. However, SIA faces no legal or regulatory risk that we know of from allowing us to continue to be a member.

Third, the action of the SIA was not based on any evidence-gathering effort. The SIA’s board claims that we are failing to meet its Principles, yet offers no proof to substantiate that charge beyond the reporting of a single outlet that brought the complaint against our company in the first place. That outlet has clearly expressed its views about our company and plainly wishes to see us banned from the market. But the fact remains that its core allegations against us are false.

For the SIA to expel Dahua without any fact-gathering sets a dangerous precedent for the industry with consequences that could go far beyond our particular business. It forecloses our ability to work with the SIA and our fellow industry members at a time when collaboration is arguably more important than ever.

As disappointing as this decision is, it does not materially impact our ability to continue to operate and provide solutions and tools that are making the world safer and more secure for our customers and for communities across America and around the world. We will continue to focus on this mission and meet the evolving needs of our customers and partners.

SIA reviewed the Dahua statement but told IPVM that it is not commenting further. A few clarifications:

  • Dahua: "The decision to put our firm on the Entity List took place in 2019, yet the SIA never indicated to us that this status would prevent our continued membership." The Ethics principles were only enacted on July 1, 2020, so SIA, regardless of its stance, could not have earlier issued any warning or notice to Dahua.
  • Dahua: "yet offers no proof to substantiate that charge beyond the reporting of a single outlet". While Dahua, earlier in the statement, focuses on the entity list, obviously the US government's entity listing decision is not the product of IPVM. As we noted in the report, our complaint did consist of the "Uyghur warnings" reporting but that was verified and co-reported by the LA Times, not just us.
  • Dahua: "But the fact remains that its core allegations against us are false." Assuming Dahua is alluding to "Uyghur warnings" our reporting is based on substantial evidence from Dahua's own website showing their documentation for the "Uyghur warning" product that Dahua promptly deleted once we asked them for comment.

We have asked Dahua for any further response or clarification on these points.

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Comments (23)

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Agree: 21
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"Now do Hikvision"

Ok, now let's not be unreasonable here....BOTH organizations in one month....Hik's not as bad; their bad, but not bad, bad, bad only bad, bad. Hang on let me recount my bads. Hate when that happens...

Was the "disagree" over my "bad" count? Maybe they are as bad but have some influence with SIAAH(you figure out the AH).. Maybe I jumped the gun. Dahua bad, bad, bad, bad and hik bad, bad, bad? I'll give them both a stern finger point and shake too with a dirty facial expression....

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Thats funny. One questionable organization expelling another. I like the irony...

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Search SIA on IPVM. Pretty funny results.

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Sure: The Cowardly, Greedy "Leaders" of Video Surveillance - SIA

It's great that SIA is now taking steps in the right direction and standing up for ethical use. How about you, #4? Ethics matter or just easy money?

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"It's great that SIA is now taking steps in the right direction and standing up for ethical use. How about you, #4? Ethics matter or just easy money?"

Awe man, thought he was referring to me then I remembered how to count again; I'm not #4...or a mfg. Well, since I already started....easy money is ok as long as it's not too unethical (don't force me to define "too unethical" you won't like it and may miss supper reading though it J). I am, however, "standing up" while typing this so I feel more like I'm standing up for ethics. Don't worry, SIAAH will return to back to the wrong direction again. You will be able to tongue-lash them soon enough.

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John,

You are right!

You don't think any of this HURTS my Hikvision / Dahua sales, right? Because I have ZERO... This only helps me. Every customer I have is on the CXO or parallel level and they know how to read. Theyr'e not into nuance of what industry association smells political.. they just need safe stuff to protect their stuff and their people stuff too. Oh and the network stuff as well. Its KINDA' important, right?? Anyone also contemplating or walking a line or flip flopping is self-fulfilling their own prophesy.

"Yes, Lets sell and deploy fever cameras that are rigged! We'll make Bank!" Look at what happened to the company that sold MBTA hand sanitizer that wasn't hand sanitizer... Screw that.

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I mean, one is a special interest group, staffed mostly with hapless but well meaning folks, trying to represent and maybe improve a small and not particularly wealthy or politically sophisticated industry, and the other is building tools to help a cartoonishly evil regime to commit genocide more efficiently. I'm absolutely rooting for one of the sides in this fight.

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"other is building tools to help a cartoonishly evil regime to commit genocide more efficiently"

When you say efficiently, do you mean like strapping two together with a 3' rope, taking them on a bridge above a deep river, shooting only one which falls off taking the other with, sinking to the bottom and causing the other one to drown in the process? Efficient like that? Yeah, that is pretty evil...

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Waiting for ADI to comment......

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I wouldn’t hold your breath.

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"Reed, organizer of ISC East and West, with SIA being the premier sponsor, told IPVM it is "evaluating Dahua's participation":"

Now do you pay Reed 200% for dropping out if you've been expelled by SIAAH?

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From my IPVM class today

“..fight for the ethical use of video surveillance” -John Scanlan

referring to IPVMs mission.

“Up next, we compare 8 new cameras for low light performance including 3 SKU’s from Dau/Hik” -me

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November 2019. While some of us were early to the party some people may not have been aware of the horrific genocidal actions of these guys back then. Or maybe some people didn’t give a shoot then and now feel that the tide is turning against them, like they’d install whatever they can make money on but now the threat of someone calling them out is greater? Either way- rerun it? Or just “fight for ethics in video surveillance” by doing what’s clearly ethical??

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"Addressed here: Should IPVM Ban Testing Dahua And Hikvision Products Because Of Human Rights Abuses?"

Well, we know you spelled it out right there because we've seen that comment about 60 times now. Okay maybe 60 is a little high. Nonetheless it's actually pretty funny to see that you check and test and waste time and money on your arch enemies products. I know you won't admit it, but it is funny. Of course not the human rights abuses committed by those actually purchasing the products but the performance testing in comparisons yes absolutely funny, hysterically entertaining. Thanks again. And again. And again.

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I actually like that IPVM still tests their equipment. Knowing what H and D are capable of is important. There are still a lot of integrators out there selling it. The reality is they make good products. We stopped selling them a few years ago and haven't looked back. However, I think it's important to know what features they offer. We come up against it all the time. It's not enough to say here's why you shouldn't buy H and D. I think it's important to acknowledge their capabilities and quality and then show the client why not to go with them. This is my personal approach; not everyone will agree.

It's funny, really. For some time, I was a Hik advocate on this very website. I personally sold thousands of cameras. Their product line helped me move our company into the surveillance business. Thanks to IPVM, I decided to move away from them.

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“"..fight for the ethical use of video surveillance” -John Scanlan

referring to IPVMs mission.""

J....c'mon, you know that really isn't their mission. They didn't even state it in their about section of the website until a month ago. .

Hey but at least you took the class...that makes you a stronger, um, coffee drinker than I. Kudos to you my friend. :)

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Is the blog graphic artist sick today?

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"Is the blog graphic artist sick today?"

Ok, you actually made me spit my drink halfway across the room when I read that comment I laughed so hard. Nice job my friend.

But in all seriousness; I hope the graphic artist is okay, as these articles may not have quite the impact they do without that person and their talented artistry. I really like the characters that remind me almost of the Stick death days for those of you that remember.

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Update Dahua responded with the following statement to IPVM, posted verbatim below:

The SIA’s decision to remove Dahua from the association for alleged failures to comply with its Code of Ethics was wrong. It was wrong on substance and the decision was reached through a deeply flawed process, and most importantly, lacked evidentiary basis. The SIA argued to us that the foundation for its decision is the fact that Dahua is on the U.S. Entity List. This strikes us as dubious for a number of reasons:

First, the decision to put our firm on the Entity List took place in 2019, yet the SIA never indicated to us that this status would prevent our continued membership. We paid our 2019, 2020 and 2021 dues and participated in the SIA activities during this period with no direct or indirect message from the SIA that our membership was at risk due to the government’s action.

Second, the Entity List by itself does not provide grounds to expel us from the association. The Entity List is not a ban on our operations in this market nor does it represent a fact-based assessment of our company’s operations. There is no due process associated with its compilation. Our company respects the right of the U.S. government to regulate its market as it sees fit. However, SIA faces no legal or regulatory risk that we know of from allowing us to continue to be a member.

Third, the action of the SIA was not based on any evidence-gathering effort. The SIA’s board claims that we are failing to meet its Principles, yet offers no proof to substantiate that charge beyond the reporting of a single outlet that brought the complaint against our company in the first place. That outlet has clearly expressed its views about our company and plainly wishes to see us banned from the market. But the fact remains that its core allegations against us are false.

For the SIA to expel Dahua without any fact-gathering sets a dangerous precedent for the industry with consequences that could go far beyond our particular business. It forecloses our ability to work with the SIA and our fellow industry members at a time when collaboration is arguably more important than ever.

As disappointing as this decision is, it does not materially impact our ability to continue to operate and provide solutions and tools that are making the world safer and more secure for our customers and for communities across America and around the world. We will continue to focus on this mission and meet the evolving needs of our customers and partners.

SIA reviewed the Dahua statement but told IPVM that it is not commenting further. A few clarifications:

  • Dahua: "The decision to put our firm on the Entity List took place in 2019, yet the SIA never indicated to us that this status would prevent our continued membership." The Ethics principles were only enacted on July 1, 2020, so SIA, regardless of its stance, could not have earlier issued any warning or notice to Dahua.
  • Dahua: "yet offers no proof to substantiate that charge beyond the reporting of a single outlet". While Dahua, earlier in the statement, focuses on the entity list, obviously the US government's entity listing decision is not the product of IPVM. As we noted in the report, our complaint did consist of the "Uyghur warnings" reporting but that was verified and co-reported by the LA Times, not just us.
  • Dahua: "But the fact remains that its core allegations against us are false." Assuming Dahua is alluding to "Uyghur warnings" our reporting is based on substantial evidence from Dahua's own website showing their documentation for the "Uyghur warning" product that Dahua promptly deleted once we asked them for comment.

We have asked Dahua for any further response or clarification on these points.

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SecurityInfoWatch has a new post covering this and the FCC banning issue: Things go from bad to worse for Chinese surveillance giants in U.S.

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SSI has covered this - SIA Terminates Dahua’s Membership for Violating Code of Ethics - Security Sales & Integration

Biometric Update has covered this - Some in biometric surveillance industry think Uyghur-targeting vendors are getting a pass | Biometric Update They even reported on IPVM member comments:

The organization seems to have won a new acronym moniker among non-fans: SIAAH, or SIA (medical term: anuses).

The response and attention to SIA's move have been quite high, both in terms of engagement on IPVM and coverage by others.

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