Chinese-made drones flying around DC restricted airspace
Hundreds of Chinese made drones have been detected in restricted sections of Washington DC over the last couple of months. According to a report from Politico, the drones have geo-fencing built in to prevent them from flying where they’re not allowed, but the pilots are modifying them to get around the no-fly zone restrictions. The drones are manufactured by the Chinese company DJI, whose products make up a majority of the recreational drones in the United States. Security experts are concerned about the company’s ties to the Chinese government.
In fact, some national security agencies are concerned this could lead to a new form of foreign espionage. Three Senate Committees – Homeland Security, Commerce and Intelligence, have received classified briefings on the matter.
Rachel Stohl with the think tank Stimson Center said “These may be just innocent data collection — or really just looking around, seeing what’s happening — and not in a systemized way. But the potential, of course, is that eventually they could be more dangerous.”
Senator Marco Rubio said of the drones: “Any technological product with origins in China or Chinese companies holds a real risk and potential of vulnerability that can be exploited both now and in a time of conflict.”