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September 2023

November 2023

US Government Fund

US Government Program to Fund the Replacement of Over One Million Dahua and Hikvision Cameras.

Using Chinese-made cameras from Dahua and Hikvision in public and private facilities across the United States has become a cause for concern due to potential security risks. This concern has led to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) ban, which has been in place for five years, and the FCC's new authorization ban, which became law this year. However, to reduce the government's reliance on foreign-made technology that could be vulnerable to hacking or surveillance, the US government will fund replacing over a million cameras from these companies.

The replacement process will take place over several years, prioritizing high-risk locations. It is an essential step towards ensuring American citizens' safety and security, highlighting the importance of cybersecurity in today's digital age.

This decision by the US government represents a significant step towards addressing potential security threats and prioritizing the safety of American citizens. However, this decision may have its challenges. Replacing all the Chinese-made cameras nationwide will undoubtedly be costly and labor-intensive. With the government's commitment to prioritize security and support American businesses, these challenges will be thoughtfully and strategically addressed.

According to IPVM, this first-of-its-kind program, the "rip-and-replace" grants are part of a broader $1 billion FEMA program called the State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program (SLCGP), established by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2022. The SLCGP aims to enhance the cybersecurity preparedness of state, local, and territorial (SLT) governments by "implement[ing] cyber governance and planning; assess[ing] and evaluat[ing] systems and capabilities; mitigat[ing] prioritized issues; and build[ing] a cybersecurity workforce."

IPVM reports that beginning in 2023, FEMA is making State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program (SLCGP) funds available to state/local governments to "procure replacement[s]" for Dahua, Hikvision, Hytera, ZTE, and Huawei "equipment and services." Replacements may not come from companies affiliated with the PRC government.

The Department of Homeland Security has released a 126-page Notice of Funding Opportunity for the Fiscal Year 2023 State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program, which can be found in PDF format. Page 44 of the document explains the program. FEMA's $1 billion program funds the State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program (SLCGP) and offers rip-and-replace grants. The SLCGP was created under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2022 and aims to improve the cybersecurity readiness of state, local, and territorial governments.

It has been reported that the US House of Representatives China committee plans to introduce a bill prohibiting the US government from purchasing drones manufactured in China. According to the Financial Times, the bill will be brought forward by Mike Gallagher, the Republican committee leader, and Raja Krishnamoorthi, the senior Democrat, and it will prevent the federal government from using taxpayer money to acquire drones from China or other countries.

Who is eligible?

Each of the 56 state and territory governments in the US, including all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the US Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands, along with public schools, tribes, municipalities, and other agencies are eligible for grants. However, federal agencies are not eligible.

The amount of SLCGP (State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program) funds allocated to each state or territory is determined by its population. The grant covers 80% of the project cost, with the recipients responsible for paying the remaining 20% either by themselves or with other grants. A complete allocation breakdown can be found in Section B(1) of the SLCGP fact sheet.

By incentivizing state/local governments to remove Dahua and Hikvision cameras, FEMA's program will help facilitate a multi-level US government turn away from continued use of NDAA-covered equipment. Doing so will help the federal government achieve its goal of removing national security threats from sensitive US sites.

It has been noted that enough funding is available to replace one million or more cameras during the fiscal years 2024 and 2025. However, it is unlikely that the funds will be used exclusively for this purpose.

FEMA's program incentivizes state and local governments to remove cameras made by Dahua and Hikvision. This will help facilitate a multi-level US government turn away from continued use of NDAA-covered equipment, thereby enabling the federal government to remove national security threats from sensitive US sites.

The National Defense Authorization (NDAA) Act requires many organizations, including US schools, institutions of higher education, and hospitals, to adhere to strict regulations regarding video surveillance. Despite recognizing video surveillance as a crucial part of their security operation, many institutions continue to use outdated, expensive equipment that is difficult to maintain. This puts organizations at risk of significant security breaches.

Institutions that receive federal funding, loans, and grants are required to comply with the NDAA Act. Failure to comply can result in legal action, including penalties and fines. It may also be necessary to replace non-compliant equipment within a tight timeframe, which could affect business continuity and student learning. Therefore, it is crucial for these organizations to prioritize NDAA compliance to ensure the safety and security of their students, staff, and visitors.

Making this $1 billion in grants program available, reflects the government's top priority of ensuring enhanced security, supporting American businesses, and creating jobs.