On Monday, The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a warning notice to US firms, expressing concerns over Chinese-made drones possibly posing risks to their company data.
According to the notice, drones can be used to transmit sensitive intelligence data to their manufacturers in China, who, in their turn, can hand it to the government upon request. The department did not point any fingers naming particular companies, but judging by the fact that 80 percent of drones operating in the US and Canada come from the Shenzhen-based manufacturer DJI, the subtext of the notice becomes more clear. DJI drones had already been banned in the US army back in 2017 over similar intelligence concerns.
While the DHS’s notice is in no way limiting people’s access to Chinese-made drones, it strongly suggests that those who purchase them should take precautionary measures by at least turning off the gadget’s internet connection and removing any secure digital cards.
DJI is just one of many companies affected by the US-Chinese trade war. Shots have already been fired against Huawei, China’s telecom giant, that resulted in it essentially getting banned from selling its telecommunications equipment to US firms and acquiring any US technologies without authorization. Huawei was also forced to break ties with Google, loosing access to any further updates of the Android operating system.
Featured photo credit to DJI