US Government Stories June 12

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is asking Congress to pass new legislation that would allow the agency to surveil, research, seize and destroy airborne drones or unmanned aerial systems in the National Airspace. In a written testimony, Hayley Chang, DHS Deputy General Counsel said that today the U.S. Government is: “unable to effectively counter malicious use of drones because we are hampered by federal laws enacted years before UAS technology was available for commercial and consumer use.”

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According to the report, mandated by Congress, the FAA’s rules for commercial drone operations are too strict, preventing the society to benefit from the life-saving potential unmanned aerial systems (UAS) offer. Instead of adhering to a near-zero risk tolerance, the agency should balance the risks associated with drones with their potential advantages. The report urges the FAA to compare the risk posed by small drones to other risks the public is willing to accept such as driving a car, crossing a street or swimming in the ocean.

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US Government Stories June 7

It seems that the letter that was sent by Chris Murphy, the Junior Senator from Connecticut on May 7th, has led to the Department of Defense (DoD) banning the purchase of commercial-over-the-shelf UAS, including DJI drones for most (if not all) departments. The ban went into effect immediately (as of May 23rd, 2018.

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US Government Stories May 30

On May 7th, Chris Murphy, the Junior Senator from Connecticut had sent a letter to the U.S. Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, expressing his concerns over an additional purchase of 16 DJI drones in addition to the hundreds of DJI’s drones already purchased by U.S. government agencies and the Department of Defense. In his letter, Murphy mentions that at least three separate agencies have found that the commercial unmanned aerial systems (UAS) from the Chinese drone manufacturer pose a potential national security threat. He urges the DoD to cut Chinese drone-maker DJI out of its business and suggests that the department works with domestic drone makers instead, even if they may require some assistance. A source close to the matter has indicated that the DoD has stopped using DJI as of May 24th as a result of Murphy’s letter.

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US Government Stories November 30, 2017

The market for consumer and commercial drones has been growing at a very rapid pace. According to the latest FAA numbers, there are now 943,535 registrations of drones and drone owners in the U.S. market at least, two-thirds of which are made by DJI.

Is leading drone manufacturer, DJI sending sensitive information captured by these drones of U.S. infrastructure and government installations back to China? This is a question that is being asked by U.S. officials.

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