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US lawmakers fear DJI drones will be weaponized

msinger

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Here's an email response I received from one of my US senators stating the Countering CCP Drones Act will protect us from DJI drones that "have advanced communications systems that could be weaponized and equipped to record and transmit imagery of U.S. military bases, critical infrastructure, and other likely CCP intelligence targets":

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Have you received any specific language like this from your US senators explaining why they are backing this bill?
 
First that I've heard this explanation. I suppose any drone could be used in the same manner. I would have to tip my hat to DJI for being a drone manufacturer that uses GEO fencing to avoid a security breach. Unless hacked, a drone manufactured by DJI will not start in a NFZ.

There is MORE behind this than meets the eye.
 
Does Mr. Casey Believe that in the event of a war with China Our Drones will wake up and complete some kind of subversive mission against the country? No wonder I have to replace the Laser Targeting system every time I recalibrate the IMU!
Maybe just Maybe Mr. Casey Does not trust the owners of these DJI Products. After all it takes a village to make an autonomous weapon of death. Perhaps he feels the need to rip these Drones from the hands of any future Chinese Spies.
A simple search into the heath and retirement benefits for Chinese Government employees should alleviate any fears one has of that.
Is Mr. Casey Concerned with- Cellphones, Computers, Smart Televisions, Amazon Alexa,- THE INTERNET!? or any of the hundreds of products that fit his description of DJI Drones.
Mr Casey has proven in his letter Only one thing:
That he will cast his vote in the popular Direction with no research into the subject what-so-ever.
I am concerned for our military BUT my concern stems from the fact that in the event of war with China Their Hackers will have all the needed info in a matter of min. and they wont have to use 1 Drone not a one.
WAKE UP Mr. Casey and join the world of technology! Don't fear it.
In the event of war with China your blow dryer won't wake up and burn your house down. I am 100 percent sure of it! ( Well 97% anyways).
 
weaponization is their hail mary knowing no one can really fight back against that given all the news about ukraine. sounds to me like one of those sacred cow letters.
 
I have said this before. If we, the common man, can figure out the world of espionage, then that country isn't very good at it. There is a lot more to it.
 
They will lower the ban hammer on the drones that use geo-fencing to protect aircraft and sensitive sites. People will just be less capable drones that will have no limits for where they can be flown.

If someone wanted to conduct surveillance with a drone, they'll pick a non-DJI drone. No flight limits, no RID.
 
I said this in another thread but I'll say it again, the ban is not about national security. It's about supply chain.

DC is using "national security" as their reasoning because that is the only legal way they can ban DJI. National security is likely the only reason you will hear from any of your senators on it. They are all briefed by the same groups and lobbyists who are telling them how big bad DJI is spying on the US. Note, DJI houses all data from American pilots on American cloud servers with Microsoft as their partner.

The *real reason* for the ban is that there is no comparable US or ally based drone manufacturer to DJI. DJI drones provide twice the performance at half the cost of any decent US drone manufacturer. With the low price point DJI has for their superior drones, there is no feasible competition. No one can come into the market unless the US were to heavily subsidize them.
But we can't just ban DJI because China understood the importance of drone tech and we had our heads up our behinds. The only way we can ban them is by invoking "national security" concerns.

What that means for new DJI drones? You can't buy them in the US anymore..
What about existing drones? Those will likely work fine until the end of their life unless DJI does something with their software to prevent that (though I don't know why they would)
What about DJI? They will be gradually forced out of the US market, like what happened with Huawei.
I don't know what this will mean for DJI care/DJI servicing but I imagine those services will expire and won't be renewable. You may need to look elsewhere for third party insurers or servicers if you intend to keep your drone.
 
I said this in another thread but I'll say it again, the ban is not about national security. It's about supply chain.

DC is using "national security" as their reasoning because that is the only legal way they can ban DJI. National security is likely the only reason you will hear from any of your senators on it. They are all briefed by the same groups and lobbyists who are telling them how big bad DJI is spying on the US. Note, DJI houses all data from American pilots on American cloud servers with Microsoft as their partner.

The *real reason* for the ban is that there is no comparable US or ally based drone manufacturer to DJI. DJI drones provide twice the performance at half the cost of any decent US drone manufacturer. With the low price point DJI has for their superior drones, there is no feasible competition. No one can come into the market unless the US were to heavily subsidize them.
But we can't just ban DJI because China understood the importance of drone tech and we had our heads up our behinds. The only way we can ban them is by invoking "national security" concerns.

What that means for new DJI drones? You can't buy them in the US anymore..
What about existing drones? Those will likely work fine until the end of their life unless DJI does something with their software to prevent that (though I don't know why they would)
What about DJI? They will be gradually forced out of the US market, like what happened with Huawei.
I don't know what this will mean for DJI care/DJI servicing but I imagine those services will expire and won't be renewable. You may need to look elsewhere for third party insurers or servicers if you intend to keep your drone.
So please let us know what it looks like for the next American drone company that will swoop in and pick up where DJI left off, any ideas? Where will they base out of, where will they open a factory, what kinds of drones will they make, what US agencies will pickup contracts from them, do they make drones for the military too, will consumers embrace them, does Amazon and Best Buy pickup this new line of drones, will this company sell overseas as well, what is the timeline? Does this happen in 1 or 2 years or 15 or 20 years?
 
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weaponization is their hail mary knowing no one can really fight back against that
Indeed. If that's their angle, it's going to be hard for anyone (including DJI) to prove that could never happen.
 
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Here's an email response I received from one of my US senators stating the Countering CCP Drones Act will protect us from DJI drones that "have advanced communications systems that could be weaponized and equipped to record and transmit imagery of U.S. military bases, critical infrastructure, and other likely CCP intelligence targets":
Translate that into plain English and it's just saying that the drones are equipped with digital cameras.
The people pushing this bill are completely ignorant of drones and whatever threat they might or might not pose.
Facts and details don't matter to them.
 
Facts and details don't matter to them
Unfortunately, one doesn't need facts, details, or common sense to vote.
 
First that I've heard this explanation. I suppose any drone could be used in the same manner. I would have to tip my hat to DJI for being a drone manufacturer that uses GEO fencing to avoid a security breach. Unless hacked, a drone manufactured by DJI will not start in a NFZ.

There is MORE behind this than meets the eye.
I am tired of this regurgitated rhetoric. If there is really this dire s problem, show us the proof and take the things off the market in the US.

This is McCarthyism in a new bright red and yellow Chinese wrapper. Without proof it is mere alarmist rhetoric.

I’ve written to my representative in the House and both Senators and still have no response from any of the three. I have no idea if they are onboard with the anti-CCP, neutral, or against it.

With it being tacked onto the Defense budget it is most likely to become law by the end of the year unless the Senate puts a big line item veto through it.

Come on Congress - SHOW ME THE PROOF!!!!
 
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So please let us know what it looks like for the next American drone company that will swoop in and pick up where DJI left off, any ideas? Where will they base out of, where will they open a factory, what kinds of drones will they make, what US agencies will pickup contracts from them, do they make drones for the military too, will consumers embrace them, does Amazon and Best Buy pickup this new line of drones, will this company sell overseas as well, what is the timeline? Does this happen in 1 or 2 years or 15 or 20 years?
That's the funny thing about it all... no American or ally country would be able to do what DJI does. So, the floor for drones as capable as DJI will be a lot more expensive going forward.
And
I am tired of this regurgitated rhetoric. If there is really this dire s problem, show us the proof and take the things off the market in the US.

This is McCarthyism in a new bright red and yellow Chinese wrapper. Without proof it is mere alarmist rhetoric.

I’ve written to my representative in the House and both Senators and still have no response from any of the three. I have no idea if they are onboard with the anti-CCP, neutral, or against it.

With it being tacked onto the Defense budget it is most likely to become law by the end of the year unless the Senate puts a big line item veto through it.

Come on Congress - SHOW ME THE PROOF!!!!
100%
If the drones were truly a national security threat they would have been grounded 5 years ago.
Like with Huawei, even though they were forced out of the US market on similar "national security" grounds.. you can still use their phones on US networks. They just have no ability to sell the phones here anymore.
 
No US company can match DJI. A3 Fly More on sale for around $1000 as an example. Why does gov continue to 'cut off their nose to spite their face' and the public suffers for their ignorance. Vote em out!
 
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The replies from my reps in DC were disappointing confirmations that they don't understand the topic OR the cure. It's nothing to do with safety, national security or imminent Chinese threats. It's all to do with China eating our lunch in EV and drone tech.

Bottom line: If they ban the competition, we can still pretend American products are great. 🙄
 
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Two words explain all of this.
1. Elise
2. Stefanek
It was more than just Rep. Stefanik, she just made sure to get the most credit for it. If you look at all of the China-related items added by the House to the FY25 NDAA, her bill (and now amendment) was just one of many. It just happens to be the one that affects us right in the R/C.

Her bill passed the commerce committee with unanimous and bi-partisan support.
 
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