Pentagon: DJI Drones Remain Potential Security Risk to United States

The US Department of Defense still sees DJI’s drones as a potential security risk to the US. The ministry said in a statement. Earlier, an early version of a report leaked out in which the Pentagon wrote just the opposite.

“The Department of Defense believes the systems produced by DJI pose a potential threat to national security,” the Pentagon said in a statement. That is in contrast to a leaked version of a report, in which the US Department of Defense stated that some DJI models were found to be safe, news website The Hill reported. In it, the ministry tested two DJI drones specifically made for use by governments. The government is said to have found “no malicious code or intent.”

The Pentagon now says this report is “inaccurate and uncoordinated.” “Its unauthorized release is currently under investigation by the Department,” the Pentagon said. In the statement, the Pentagon says that it still does not assess the drones of Chinese manufacturer DJI as safe, so they cannot be bought or used by the US government.

In 2018, the US Department of Defense banned the purchase and use of all commercial drones within the US government, regardless of manufacturer. The Pentagon did so because of “cyber security concerns.” The following year, Congress passed a law specifically banning the purchase and use of drones and parts produced in China.

In addition, in late 2020, DJI was involved in a trade ban by the US government along with semiconductor manufacturer SMIC. This prohibits American companies from trading with DJI. US customers can continue to use their DJI drones, the company later reported in a response.

The US Department of Defense says Department of Defense units can still purchase commercial, off-the-shelf drones; this is assessed on a case-by-case basis. If a purchase is exempted from the law, the government agencies in question are subject to “various measures” to ensure “sensitive data is not disclosed,” according to the Pentagon, which also states that “mitigating risks from unmanned aerial vehicles, including that of DJI, remains a priority’.

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