Tuesday, May 21, 2024
 
 

US officials ground Chinese-made drones over cybersecurity fears

EPA-EFE/ALEKSANDAR PLAVEVSKI
A view of a Chinese unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) displayed along with YJ-9E anti-ship missiles (L, front) and other multi-purpose air-to-surface missiles during a military airshow in Zhuhai, Guangzhou province, China, 05 November 2018. The China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition, China's solely international aerospace trade show, runs until 11 November 2018. Organizers refer the show as under the guidance of Chinese President 'Xi Jinping's thought of socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era to further encourage innovation.'

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Just months after it approved them, the US Department of the Interior has grounded its fleet of 810 Chinese-made drones amid fears they could leave sensitive information vulnerable to hacking.
“Drones for non-emergency operations will remain grounded while the Interior Department reviews the possibility of potential threats and ensures a secure, reliable and consistent drone policy that advances our mission while keeping America safe”, Carol Danko, a spokesperson of the department said, confirming the US’ espionage fears.
Danko added some drone operations will continue to be allowed in emergency situations, including search and rescue operations and natural disasters: “We’ve had only 12 drone flights since that time for emergency operations related to fires and floods”.
In October, the drones were temporarily grounded, but the order is now extended. A Pentagon official said that the grounding order does not specifically mention Chinese drones, but “there is an emphasis on Chinese-made drones without question”.
The department also said that the order will remain in effect until it is revoked, and that it does not include an expiration date.

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