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Surveillance cameras at China's 2019 Public Security Expo on Oct. 28. Photo: Noel Celis/AFP

New York-based Aventura Technologies sold Chinese-made surveillance equipment to the U.S. military for over a decade, the New York Times reports, and federal prosecutors say the company lied about the origin of its products.

The big picture: Aventura Technologies sold surveillance, night-vision and body cameras, automated turnstiles and other security equipment to various government agencies, including the Department of Energy, prosecutors said. The equipment "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."

  • The Navy, Army and Air Force are the firm's biggest customers, totaling $88 million in sales since 2010.
  • "[I]ndividuals in China were well aware of what was going on," U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue said, citing the investigation into the Chinese-manufactured tech, AP reports.

Where it stands: Seven current and former Aventura employees have been charged with illegal importation and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, per the Times. Two of the defendants — Jack and Frances Cabasso — face money laundering conspiracy charges.

Our thought bubble, via Axios Joe Uchill: China has a reputation for domestic companies beholden to the state that frequently manipulate business relationships and technology for espionage purposes.

Go deeper: China touts dubious emotion recognition tech

Go deeper

Biden signs racial equity executive orders

Joe Biden prays at Grace Lutheran Church in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on September 3, 2020, in the aftermath of the police shooting of Jacob Blake. PHOTO: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed executive orders on housing and ending the Justice Department's use of private prisons as part of what the White House is calling his “racial equity agenda.”

The big picture: Biden needs the support of Congress to push through police reform or new voting rights legislation. The executive orders serve as his down payment to immediately address systemic racism while he focuses on the pandemic.

Senate confirms Antony Blinken as secretary of state

Antony Blinken. Photo: Alex Edelman/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The Senate voted 78-22 on Tuesday to confirm Antony Blinken as secretary of state.

Why it matters: Blinken, a longtime adviser to President Biden, will lead the administration's diplomatic efforts to re-engage with the world after four years of former President Trump's "America first" policy.

2 hours ago - World

Former Google CEO and others call for U.S.-China tech "bifurcation"

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A new set of proposals by a group of influential D.C. insiders and tech industry practitioners calling for a degree of "bifurcation" in the U.S. and Chinese tech sectors is circulating in the Biden administration. Axios has obtained a copy.

Why it matters: The idea of "decoupling" certain sectors of the U.S. and Chinese economies felt radical three years ago, when Trump's trade war brought the term into common parlance. But now the strategy has growing bipartisan and even industry support.