SILVER SPRING, Md. — Hikvision has withdrawn its membership to the Security Industry Association (SIA), citing a refusal to share membership together with IPVM, an online resource for industry news, products reviews and independent training courses.
Excerpts from the resignation letter were provided to SSI by a person with knowledge of the matter and confirmed by SIA.
The China-based manufacturer of video surveillance and other security equipment has been a member of SIA for about 10 years. The company staffs North American operations in City of Industry, Calif., and Montreal.
IPVM has reported a range of articles focused on Hikvision and fellow China-based manufacturer Dahua Technology, from cybersecurity dangers posed by the companies’ equipment to bogus product claims, human rights abuses and other unethical behavior.
Among the complaints lodged against IPVM, Hikvision’s resignation letter states:
“IPVM has harassed and maligned fellow members of SIA via a coordinated effort, from unethical hacking of Hikvision cameras, to misleading blog stories about those hacks, to surreptitiously seeding those stories in mainstream media sources, to then using those stories as the basis for lobbying efforts at the FCC and Congress to effectively ban fellow SIA members from U.S. markets. This is not the behavior of a member living out the ideals of professionalism, respect, honesty, integrity, transparency, and good faith that all SIA members are called to respect.”
IPVM Founder John Honovich tells SSI he believes Hikvision used the publication as an excuse to resign in order to avoid the likelihood of being expelled by SIA for ethical violations.
“I don’t think the final [ethics violation] vote had occurred but given that Dahua and Hikvision have the same situation in terms of human rights abuses and security risks, etc., that Hikvision would very likely be in a similar position,” he said. “I think the benefit of this move by Hikvision is they can avoid getting expelled. As I [have said previously], this is the equivalent of saying, ‘You can’t fire me; I quit.’”
In a statement, SIA tells SSI its internal policies do not allow it to comment on the status of any ethical complaints or investigations lodged against a member company by another member company.
“Being a SIA member indicates you are part of the industry’s business ecosystem, but more importantly, it means you are sharing in efforts to define the future of the security industry and agree to the ethical standards of this organization,” SIA CEO Don Erickson tells SSI. “We always respect any company’s decision on membership, and we thank all SIA members for their participation and the work they do together to create a positive, productive security industry.”
The trade association, based here, has more than 1,200 member companies from across the security industry ecosystem, including manufacturers, systems integrators, distributors, end users, among other subject matter experts.
Hikvision’s resignation letter, along with expressing “great disappointment” in having to end its membership, states, “We look forward to remaining an integral part of the U.S. security industry, and to potentially working with SIA in the future.”
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