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NDAA In Effect: What You Need to Know

In August 2020, the John McCain National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) took effect. Part of the act prohibits federal agencies from using, procuring, or selling specific surveillance equipment brands.

Federal agencies are prohibited from not only purchasing equipment from these companies, but also from doing business with contractors who use backlisted surveillance technology.

How can a government agency determine which cameras are NDAA-compliant and which contractors can assist with the technology's implementation? What you should know is as follows.

Brands of Cameras That Aren't Allowed

The NDAA specifically prohibits the camera brands Dahua, Hikvision, and Huawei, as well as any brands that may operate under or as part of these companies, including brands affiliated with them.

However, a camera that isn't one of these brands but uses prohibited brand equipment or components could be used. The act also prohibits these companies from manufacturing any "substantial or essential" components of a surveillance system.

So, for example, you could have a camera from an approved brand that has a Hikvision chip in it, indicating that the camera is not compliant with the NDAA.

Needless to say, this is difficult given that many federal institutions have already deployed or work with contractors who supply cameras or equipment that are now prohibited [2].

Who is the Ban Affecting?

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) affects all federal agencies in the United States. Such agencies include the FBI, the National Park Service, and the military. Remember that IT companies are not allowed to sell surveillance equipment to government agencies or their contractors under these brands.

Federal agencies are also prohibited from continuing to work with contractors who use or provide prohibited surveillance equipment. Signing a new contract as well as renewing or extending an existing one fall under this category. Regardless of whether the cameras are used for federal contact work [3], this policy applies.

Although the act only applies to primary contractors, they must evaluate their relationships with subcontractors who use this equipment to ensure that no prohibited technology is provided or used for the primary contractor's benefit.

See NDAA compliant security solutions here by Speco Technologies:

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