DJI may be next on the US blacklist after “cyberespionage” warning

May 24, 2019

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

DJI may be next on the US blacklist after “cyberespionage” warning

May 24, 2019

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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According to the BBC, the US government has issued an alert warning that Chinese-made drones may pose potential cyberespionage risks to American businesses. They say that the warning does not specifically name DJI, however, in September last year, Skylogic Research’s 2018 Drone Market Sector Report lists DJI as having an estimated 74% market share.

This isn’t the first time the US government has aired concerns over DJI products. The US Army dropped DJI drone use citing “cyber vulnerabilities” in September 2017. And they were accused of spying for the Chinese government just a couple of months later.

But DJI says it has taken steps to keep its clients’ data secure. They now allow drone pilots to fly without transferring any data over the Internet, and to opt out of the AeroScope system which allows them to have their activities tracked.

We give customers full and complete control over how their data is collected, stored, and transmitted.

For government and critical infrastructure customers that require additional assurances, we provide drones that do not transfer data to DJI or via the internet, and our customers can enable all the precautions DHS [Department of Homeland Security] recommends.

– DJI

Of course, DJI isn’t the only China-based drone manufacturer. They’re just the biggest. Anywhere. But China is also home to Yuneec, their second-best selling drone brand, who also says that they provide users with complete control over their data.

All our UAV [unmanned aerial vehicles] do not share telemetry or visual data with internal or external parties.

Regardless of who you are – public authority, company or private individual – the drone data of your Yuneec drone always remains yours.

– Chris Huhn, Vice President of Business Development, Yuneec

After the actions taken against Huawei recently, talk of cyberespionage and spying could simply be a precursor to seeing DJI go on the list next. Of course, the words stable door, horse and bolted come to mind. Given the number of DJI drones already flying around in the USA, even if it were true, isn’t it a little late?

And given the number of drones being used by the federal government, as well as all fifty states in an official capacity, is there even really another drone manufacturer out there who would be able to replace them all?

[via BBC]

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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19 responses to “DJI may be next on the US blacklist after “cyberespionage” warning”

  1. Tj Ó Seamállaigh Avatar
    Tj Ó Seamállaigh

    u know .. i might sound ridiculous here but i think in the near future and not far from now, I’d believe every Asian-looking person in US (living or visiting, American or not) would be put under suspicion – reminds of the cold war era with all US movies back in the 80s picturing Russians as terrorists and blood-thirsty creatures

    1. Marko Avatar
      Marko

      We are back to the 30’s…I hope Europe will grow a back bone and start questioning Americas’s motives. We in Canada already know who we are dealing with.

      1. Tj Ó Seamállaigh Avatar
        Tj Ó Seamállaigh

        What i dont understand is… why the big deal about the chinese products under the claims of espionage in the time that we know that google, fb and many other services which are based in the US do gather info about us users and even make biases in our choices (which is why the EU court i think fined google for it). If they are concerned about espionage, US is doing the same, so i dont really understand all these headlines in newspapers about “backdoor in chinese products” thing
        Personally, OK … let the chinese spy on me ….. at least they are not screwing the middle east as much as that thing

        1. Marko Avatar
          Marko

          America is seeing for the first time in decades a real threat to their superiority. China is moving ahead in giant steps and is taking the crown from the US. America will never stand for that. It’s not enough for America to be wealthy and successful, they want to be the wealthiest and the most successful, China’s progress is already taking it away and in 10 or so years they will be the top dog.

          It is inconceivable to American that another nation can do better and faster, and now they will do whatever it takes (including hurting their own economy) to stop the Chines.

          Those new decrees from the American government would not hold a fraction of a second in any court. Stopping business with another company and breaking contracts in such a blunt way is the definition of illegal.

          Alas, America is above the law as we know. Just to make it a bit more palatable they accuse large Chinese companies in espionage.

          It is not a coincident that Huawei and DJI are targeted, those are the two leading companies in their market. America cannot let other countries lead in such huge markets so they will do ANYTHING to try and stop them.

          I agree, the US is the biggest spying agency on the planet and yet, they point the finger at others. Maybe it’s time some spineless “world leaders” will point it out to them.

          We will see what comes next.

          1. Tj Ó Seamállaigh Avatar
            Tj Ó Seamállaigh

            yep .. it is time to change. Read history… no powerful nation would stay “young” forever. It must come down… and I think it is the time due that.

        2. Major Sceptic Avatar
          Major Sceptic

          Yes but Google and Facebook probably are not reporting back to the Chinese intelligence .

          1. Tj Ó Seamállaigh Avatar
            Tj Ó Seamállaigh

            hehe exactly … besides … when u read all the accusations ..they are mostly from one side (with momentum from the media which follows) – a bit of thought about it: why should I believe that and neglect what the other part has to say about the problem? After all, this is how justice work, right?

      2. MDL Avatar
        MDL

        You should know because if it wasn’t for us American’s you wouldn’t have a shred of protection, zero medical care, zero technology, zero transportation. You don’t produce a vehicle and depend on the manufacturing of American cars to supply your jobs. As a country you don’t produce anything (except wheat and grains). You have oil and coal that we don’t need. You medical care is pathetic and many Canadians, as you know, come to the US to get treated. You can talk crap all your want about Americans but we are still superior to you in every way and if it wasn’t for us this website wouldn’t even exist. You invented the paint roller, garbage bags and wonder bras. Awesome.

        1. Marko Avatar
          Marko

          The notion that if it wasn’t for America the world would not exist is not uncommon to hear from Americans. It seems you think that everything was made because of you, by you and for you.

          You are right that we, Canadians, should do much more to better our economy, I will be the first to say that Canadians are way to complacent. However, we have much more than you think. At one point (until about 8 years ago) the trade between the US and Canada was about $1 billion a day (!!) but as it turned out, we sold you product and services worth $800 millions and bought goods and services from you worth $200 millions. So in reality we made for you far more than you made for us. Of course we are also a much smaller nation and we just don’t buy as much as you but still we make lots of things.

          Now, some of it was made by subsidiaries of the likes of GM and Ford (and Nissan, Honda etc.) but much of it was made in Canada products.

          You say that you don’t need our natural resources yet, 40% of your oil import comes from Canada. But of course that does not amount to $800,000,000 a day, there is a lot more made in Canada you buy from us.

          By the way…

          This site (DIY) was created by an Israeli in Israel but I guess since it’s in English you assume it’s American? The coding languages it uses like the HTML was created by two, one American one Belgium. The PHP language that the Word Press platform is based on was invented by a Danish-Canadian.

          Wordpress was originally created by Michel Valdrighi (I believe he is French) as a platform called b2/cafelog, he is now a main contributor to WordPress. WordPress was developed on the b2 platform by Matt Mullenweg, an American and an English man name Mike Little. It was written on the PHP platform (Danish Canadian) and MySQL that was invented and developed by Michael “Monty” Widenius, a Fin.

          Well, I guess not everything is made in the US.

          By the way, I just built my own PC and although it runs on US OS (MS) and the chip is also a US made, just about all the other components are Taiwanese and South Koreans.

          And if I am not mistaken the Intel chip was also made in Israel by the Intel branch.

          I am all for making America great and also made Canada great and also make China great etc. Each country should do all they can to be nothing but great. We, the simpletons of the world will only benefit from, as we greatly benefit from cheap goods in our stores thanks to Chines labour and ingenuity.

          However, when a country tries to stomp on another in order, not to be great but to make sure others are not, that’s where problems start.

          1. MDL Avatar
            MDL

            I think you missed my point. You specifically called out the American people and I am American so I take you insult directly. BTW, none of those technologies would exist without the USA as the Internet would not be here. Not the point though. The point is you felt like it was ok to address the American people because of a decision made by our Government. I’ll tell you what, if you don’t like America then I suggest you boycott us by discontinuing the use of anything made or developed by American owned companies. Otherwise keep your ignorant comments about us to yourself. Also, stay the f**k out of our country too. Also, there wouldn’t be ANY technology without the USA. We invented the silicon chip so NOTHING that has to do with technology would be here, this site, cellphones, etc. Yes, we are arrogant because we have a right to be.

          2. Marko Avatar
            Marko

            I see you are a class act :-) Have a nice day.

          3. MDL Avatar
            MDL

            Awe look at you. You deleted your other comment and then ran like a true socialist.

          4. Marko Avatar
            Marko

            I never delete comments buddy. Someone, probably you, marked it as spam. Gee thanks for having the guts to face an argument and not resort to dirty tricks, lol

          5. Whatdoyknow Avatar
            Whatdoyknow

            Prone to road rage??? hahaha.

          6. MDL Avatar
            MDL

            No, unlike weak pukes from other counties who take liberties criticizing US citizens, I’m prone to defending myself. Does that clear things up for you?

  2. Mark Gray Avatar
    Mark Gray

    When will that idiot wind his neck in

  3. MEOIRS Avatar
    MEOIRS

    The Russians are alright, his wife is called Ivanka. All foreigners are doing the dirty dirty work ☺️

  4. tasos pardellas Avatar
    tasos pardellas

    What an idiot this new president or wait… It’s his counsels that are idiots? Maybe most of the US citizens are unable to think in a logical way? I am not sure but AL this spy thing is a full bag of bull shit that is the pressure level to do and act as they want without giving answers to anyone

    1. Marko Avatar
      Marko

      It’s not just the president, it’s the American people as a whole. Did you see how quickly Google stopped business with Huawei? No protest, no questioning. And now an American association for SD cards blacklisted Huawei too.

      It seems that when it comes to preserve a seemingly economic superiority Americans have no problem doing everything they can do maintain it.

      My hopes are that more countries and corporations see how easy American can turn on them and take notice.

      So what next?

      Maybe China will ban all Apple devices and stop all shipments of Apple iPhones (that are almost all made in China).

      How about stopping all contracts with Boeing and instead buy Airbus, Embraer and Bombardier.

      Walmart has over 400 huge super-centers in China (433 locations in total). Close them and here goes few tens of billions. 99% of what is selling in Wal-Mart in the US is made in China, the tariffs already hammer the price of items in Wal-Mart now imagine of China now increase prices on their own end, what Wal-Mart to do?

      GM sell more units in China than the US (Yes, even I was amazed to discover that). What will happen to GM if their cars are ban from China?

      John Deere already lost tons of sales in China. So are US farmers.

      Maybe it’s for the best, we need more competition from Europe that shows complacency and complete lack of innovation in the past three decades. China is aiming very high, it’s time Europe join them, we will all benefit.