US bans government agencies from flying DJI drones

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The US Department of the Interior has banned government agencies from flying drones from China’s DJI. The ministry is afraid that data about the US will fall into Chinese hands via the drones.

The order contains no references to DJI or China, but according to The Wall Street Journal, all US government agency drones are DJI or made with Chinese parts. In an emergency, the drones can still take off, but the rest of the time they must remain on the ground.

The ministry has not come to this conclusion for the first time, but had already put a temporary stop to flights with Chinese-made drones last year when it warned of security risks. The US government is afraid that data about the US is leaking via the drones and therefore considers the drones a threat to national security. It is unknown what kind of data it would be. The US government wants companies in the US to produce and supply the drones.

The ban will remain in effect for as long as an investigation into a policy to safely use drones within government agencies is underway. There is no ban on consumers using DJI drones.

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