Best Buy and Home Depot drop security cameras linked to Uyghur surveillance

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According to TechCrunch, Best Buy, Home Depot and Lowes will no longer sell security cameras from Lorex and Ezviz after the outlet reported the involvement of the brands’ parent companies in supplying surveillance technology to the Chinese government.

According to the US government, Dahua (owner of Lorex) and Hikvision (owner of Ezviz) are both involved in human rights violations and abuses in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. They reportedly helped provide surveillance equipment to monitor ethnic minorities. One of the largest oppressed groups is the Uyghurs, a predominantly Muslim ethnic group that the Chinese government is accused of having placed in detention or re-education camps, used as forced labor, and more.

Lorex and Ezviz’s home security cameras and systems are not banned for sale in the United States, despite Department of Commerce restrictions on their parent companies. However, when TechCrunch has contacted retailers about Lorex and Ezviz links, Home Depot and Best Buy have reportedly promised to stop working with the companies. The Home Depot cited its “ethical sourcing standards” as the reason it removed products from its online store, and although Lowes apparently did not respond to this, Lorex products have been removed from its online store. site.

Best buy says TechCrunch that he would “end his relations” with companies. However, Lorex’s security cameras still appear to be available on their site (and some models are even on sale). Searching on Ezviz does not return any results. The Home Depot and Lowes search systems also don’t return anything for Lorex; while the latter shows results for Ezviz, all products are listed as unavailable.

The Best Buy site still features many Lorex products. (Screenshot taken Oct. 25, 1:40 p.m. ET.)

These surveillance issues aren’t limited to security camera companies. The US government has limited how US companies can work with drone maker DJI by adding it to the entity list after reports raised concerns over the supply of its drones to the Xinjiang police force. DJI’s consumer products are still allowed, but companies would face similar ethical dilemmas when it comes to selling DJI’s products as they would for Lorex (although DJI is a bigger name in drones). than Lorex in home security). Best Buy did not immediately respond to a request for comment on its intention to continue selling DJI’s drones and cameras.

In a statement to IPVM, a surveillance-focused media outlet that co-reported the story with TechCrunch, the president of the Uyghur World Congress said it was “unacceptable that there are still any American companies directly helping to reinforce” the oppression of the group. The statement could apply to retailers like Costco and Sam’s Club, which continue to sell Lorex products, but it could also apply to tech giants like Apple, Amazon, Tesla, etc., which have been linked. to suppliers who allegedly used forced Uyghur labor.

Although the US government has said that China is committing genocide against the Uyghurs, a report by The Dispatch says the country did not admit any refugees from the minority group between October 2020 and September 2021. The report cites difficulties escaping China due to checkpoints and CCTV, a maze of red tape and the “Lack of urgency” when granting asylum as reasons for lack of admissions.


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