U.S. Army orders ban on Chinese-made drones

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The U.S. Army has ordered all service members to “cease all use” of drones supplied by Chinese manufacturer SZ DJI Technology Co Ltd, citing “cyber vulnerabilities,” according to the publication Defense One.

On August 2, the Army posted a memo online asking military members to “cease all use, uninstall all DJI applications, remove all batteries/storage media and secure equipment for follow-on direction,” reads the memo from Lt. Gen. Joseph H. Anderson, the Army’s deputy chief of staff for plans and operations.

The memo also stated that an “increased awareness of cyber vulnerabilities associated with DJI products” as the result of classified findings in a May study by the Army Research Lab at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland, as well as a Navy memo citing “operational risks.”

Adam Lisberg, a New York-based spokesman for DJI Technology, issued the following statement on the Army’s decision:

“We are surprised and disappointed to read reports of the U.S. Army’s unprompted restriction on DJI drones as we were not consulted during their decision. We are happy to work directly with any organization, including the U.S. Army, that has concerns about our management of cyber issues.”

The privately held China-based company said it planned to follow up with Pentagon officials to find out what they meant by “cyber vulnerabilities.” and claimed they were willing to work with them on such issues to find a solution.

DJI drones, which account for roughly 70 percent share of the global commercial and consumer drone market, are “the most widely used non-program of record commercial off-the-shelf UAS employed by the Army,” said the memo.

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