Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., told Defense Secretary Mark Esper in a Nov. 6 letter that the Defense Department (DoD) must act quickly to weed out Chinese-made surveillance gear in use at DoD facilities.

The senator cited published reports that say at least 2,700 surveillance devices made by Chinese companies that are on the Commerce Department’s export “blacklist” – including those made by Hangzhou Hikvision and Dahua Technology – are still being used across Federal government installations. The Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) bans the Federal government’s use of technology from blacklisted firms, the senator reminded.

“The Department of Defense must act quickly to identify and remove this equipment as every day that passes only provides our adversaries additional time to infiltrate and exploit our national security networks as well as the ability to monitor U.S. military activities that may be of interest,” Sen. Rubio said, adding that DoD needs to have a “comprehensive strategy to address threats” posed by foreign-sourced equipment components.

In the meantime, the senator asked Secretary Esper to respond to a lengthy list of questions about how DoD is addressing the NDAA requirement to prohibit the purchase and phase out the use of “all Chinese cameras and related technology,” and whether the Pentagon is conducting a more comprehensive survey of “counterintelligence vulnerabilities posed by all Chinese-sourced products currently in use within U.S. military installations.”

Read More About
More Topics
Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk's Assistant Copy & Production Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.