US Government agencies end use of Chinese-made drones.

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Last June, I posted about China-based drone manufacturer DJI shifting some drone production to America in order to manufacture US-spec drones to assuage fears China-made DJI drones could transmit sensitive US government data back to China.

Despite efforts by DJI, the US government agency, specifically the US Department of the Interior, has decided to ground their Chinese-made drone program. As a result, around 800 drones were grounded last October while a review evaluated the risks of using Chinese-made drones. This past week, government agencies decided to permanently cancel the drone program. 

The drones were used by scientific teams to map terrain, survey land, monitor earthquakes and also used by rescue teams – such as the rescue of a victim of the volcanic explosion in Hawaii in 2018. Drones used to fight wild fires and rescue people are still allowed to operate.

Besides government agencies, the US Army has also banned troops from using DJI-made drones due to cyber-security concerns.

Government agencies claim drone use is cheaper and less risky – without drones, manned aircraft would have to be used.

Huawei claims they are victims of 1 million cyber attacks daily.

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According to a Forbes.com article, the Huawei security chief, John Suffolk claims Huawei is cyber attacked almost 1 million times per day on the Huawei networks and computers. According to their security chief, most of the attacks are looking for intellectual property theft as Huawei leads the world in 5G technology. In response to these attacks, Huawei has pledged to work with their customers to secure their defenses from further cyber attacks.
On the other hand, the US government has alleged that Huawei receives Chinese state support and as such is subject to assisting Beijing with intelligence gathering overseas through backdoors in their hardware.
The US is not alone in its suspicion, the Forbes article also cites a EU report warning of the “combination of new technologies and 5G networks risks hostile state control of critical infrastructure, logistics, transportation even law enforcement”. The EU report did not cite China or Huawei but the article did indicate that 5G suppliers from countries “with poor democratic standards,” for which the reference to Huawei and China was clear.
If you do business with Huawei and have questions about maintaining Huawei compliance, contact export compliance attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.