A Military Camera Said ‘Made in U.S.A.’ The Screen Was in Chinese.

Sep 2012
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And no one noticed for 10 years??? Doesn't anyone inspect these things before buying them?

A Military Camera Said ‘Made in U.S.A.’ The Screen Was in Chinese.
The surveillance cameras and other equipment that Aventura Technologies sold for years to the United States military looked like solid American products, packaged in boxes with “Made in the U.S.A.” labels and stars-and-stripes logos.

The items were installed throughout government agencies, including on aircraft carriers and a Department of Energy facility. Then last year, a service member on an Air Force base noticed that an Aventura body camera displayed Chinese characters on the screen.

On Thursday, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn said that the equipment had actually been made in China and was vulnerable to hacking, raising the possibility that American government agencies had installed software in their security networks that could be used for spying by China.

...MORE...
 
Nov 2007
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And no one noticed for 10 years??? Doesn't anyone inspect these things before buying them?
The story as described by AP seems slightly different:

The scheme began to unravel after the company sold 25 body cameras to the U.S. Air Force, security analysts discovered downloaded images including a logo of the Chinese Ministry of Public Security on the devices, the complaint said.
Either way, I don't think every camera they've sold for the last decade had Chinese letters all over it. The article talks about the efforts made to disguise the origin of the goods. Sounds like they slipped up on one batch of cameras.

They had some gall though. The boss of the company emailed the US government warning them about the big problem of other American companies contracting production out to China, arguing that this is why they should buy from his company instead. Of course, they charged more to cover the higher cost of the American wages they weren't, in fact, paying.
 

johnflesh

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Yeah. That is pretty common these days.

For instance Dell computers. Made in USA are put together in Austin, Texas. But almost every single part is sourced from Asia. As well as the software on it.

And our military sources equipment through the private sector.
This is a slightly different case, though. They weren't simply sourcing parts from China. Everything was being manufactured in China, with the manufacturers instructed to hide this fact by, for example, removing markings from the circuit boards that would have identified the origin. Aventura lied to the US military that everything was being made domestically - charging them a premium rate because of this. They went so far as fabricating images of non-existent assembly lines in New Jersey.
 
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Another example:

Maytag washers and dryers.

Used to be the best, and made in Iowa.

Now a sticker says "Proudly engineered and assembled in the U.S.A."

That means parts shipped in from all over the world and final assembly somewhere in America.

Allegedly...
 
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Sep 2012
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SoCal
Yeah. That is pretty common these days

For instance Dell computers. Made in USA are put together in Austin, Texas. But almost every single part is sourced from Asia. As well as the software on it.

And our military sources equipment through the private sector.
I do understand that ... some cell phones are made in Viet Nam. "Assembled in" is not manufactured/produced in USA.

What I don't understand is why no one noticed the Chinese characters on the screen, or required proof that the cameras were "made in USA" as labeled. I once worked in a machine shop that made parts for the military. Metals used were required to be fabricated "in USA" and proof of that was required. I handled all inspections with the gov't inspectors and had to have that proof when they appeared. I also ordered all materials and had to get documentation from the supplier. Where did those 'protections' go?
 

Ian Jeffrey

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The issue here is that, with a shrinking world and global economy, it is now less meaningful where something was made than it used to be. Countries compete, but probably cooperate more. "Made in U.S.A." is still a point of pride on a populist level, but probably should not be. The more we cooperate with each other, the more we each have a stake in the other's welfare, which in the long run means fewer wars. When is the last time two free-market democracies went to war with each other?