Pentagon grounds own report that said China's DJI drones are safe

Someone seems to have leaked a draft document that represented a radical reversal


The United States Department of Defence (DoD) has reiterated that it thinks drones made by Chinese firm DJI represent a security risk after an internal document suggesting the opposite leaked to the press.

The Pentagon expressed concerns about DJI's drones in 2019 – and with good reason. The firm's wares chat to servers in China, contain basic flaws, and deceptively bypass curated app stores.

DJI found itself in further strife in 2020, when it was added to the USA's lists of entities with which commerce and trade were forbidden. At least the company wasn't entirely alone: in 2018 the US banned the procurement of commercial off-the-shelf drones by government agencies, regardless of where they were made.

A July 21 report in US political outlet The Hill claimed that it had seen a "report summary" in which the DoD had approved use of two DJI drones therefore represented quite the turnaround.

But the turnaround was quickly smacked down.

A July 23 Pentagon statement labelled the document seen by The Hill as "inaccurate and uncoordinated." Worse still, the "unauthorized release" of the report "is currently under review by the Department."

Mitigating the threats posed by small unmanned aerial devices, including DJI systems, remains a priority across the department, and DoD continues to ensure existing policy remains current and appropriately implemented. ®

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