Shortly after Google barred Huawei from some updates to its Android OS following the restrictions from the Trump administration, the United States has issued a warning against threats from Chinese drone companies.
Several western countries had raised concerns about using a Chinese owned company to upgrade their mobile networks. They claimed that Huawei equipment could be compromised by China for surveillance, which the tech firm denied vehemently. The restriction, in fact, killed Huawei’s bid to become the world’s top smartphone brand. The tech firm is currently the world’s second biggest smartphone maker. It aimed at reaching its apogee in 2020 before President Trump restricted American companies from doing business with Huawei without a US government license.
The most recent is a warning from the US government that Chinese-made drones could be spying on American business and organisations that employ them. The notice comes from the US’s cybersecurity and infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). In a statement they said,
“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.”
The government says that continuous use puts the state at a cyber-espionage risk, especially the drones that carry out tasks related to national security. Although no specific organisation was mentioned, heads of organisations have begun to take preventive measures to comply with the warning.
DJI, a Chinese-owned drone maker says it has taken steps to protect its clients’ data. The firm said in a statement:
“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.”
The US has raised such security concerns before now. In August 2017, the US ICE accused the DJI of providing critical security information and other sensitive information to the Chinese government, even though it had no proof to back its claim.
This is a speculation or a pointer that the next company to be barred by the US government is DJI and other Chinese-owned drone companies.