CNN report DHS have Chinese drones in crosshairs again

On the day that Google pulled the Play Store for future Huawei phones and tablets, CNN reports that the Department of Homeland, Security Cyber and Infrastructure have issued another memo about Chinese RPA and equipment. They have strong concerns, which really does not sound too definitive!

“The United States government has strong concerns about any technology product that takes American data into the territory of an authoritarian state that permits its intelligence services to have unfettered access to that data or otherwise abuses that access, those concerns apply with equal force to certain Chinese-made (unmanned aircraft systems)-connected devices capable of collecting and transferring potentially revealing data about their operations and the individuals and entities operating them, as China imposes unusually stringent obligations on its citizens to support national intelligence activities”

We have been here before of course. Early in 2017 Kevin Pomaski gave a very full and frank account of his concerns.

It is important to remember its not just the flying part of the equation, does your critical infrastructure inspection tool rely on image processing overseas?

Adam Lisberg of DJI just sent on their response to the new report.

At DJI, safety is at the core of everything we do, and the security of our technology has been independently verified by the U.S. government and leading U.S. businesses. 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 recommends. Every day, American businesses, first responders, and U.S. government agencies trust DJI drones to help save lives, promote worker safety and support vital operations, and we take that responsibility very seriously.

They are not the only Chinese manufacturer of course.

Should the drone industry start feeling the pain of Trump tariffs who would face the most fall out?

For Chinese manufacturers there is the rest of the world and of course China itself to sell to, that’s a huge market.

American companies that have built platforms around Chinese autopilots and C2 links might struggle to source and incorporate other hardware quick enough to stay in business.

Some app developers have thrown all their weight behind Chinese products and forsaken all others. Will they have enough VC funds left to rewrite everything?

I can imagine their are going to be some midnight oil meetings between those that purchased platforms and folks that signed off on that higher up the chain in American RPA business in the next week or two.

May you live in interesting times, as they say in China or Yorkshire.

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