The Pentagon audit cleared two DJI drones.
A Pentagon audit has cleared two DJI drones for use by the US government, according to a summary of the report just obtained by DroneDJ. Hill’s website initially reported that the audit found that the drones provided “no malicious code or intent” and were “recommended for use by government entities and forces working with US services.”
The report cleared two DJI models, the Mavic Pro and the Matrice 600 Pro, for government use. The author of the audit, U.S. Army Special Operations Command Second Chief Warrant Officer Adam Prater, declined to comment publicly on the summary. DroneDJ has a copy of the report. It’s quite technical, and we read it carefully. But the headline is this: Drones Aren’t a Security Threat.
The Interior Ministry temporarily grounded its fleet of more than 500 DJI drones in January 2020 for cybersecurity reasons. The report follows growing concerns about the safety of DJI and Chinese technology in general.
DJI maintains that no data is transferred from its products to the Chinese government or to the company itself.
The report may fuel DJI’s efforts to restore government use of its drones, even though it only analyzed two models.
Suspicion has led some government and private companies to be wary of DJI drones, so it could be a huge boost to DJI’s fortunes. This is also a partial justification, as DJI has tried to combat negative claims made about its products, especially around cybersecurity.
Pentagon audit clears two DJI drones
“This US government report is the strongest confirmation yet of what we, and independent security validations, say in years – DJI drones are safe and secure for government and corporate operations. DJI believes that setting specific standards and requirements regardless of a drone’s country of origin is the best way to ensure drone data security. DJI’s communications manager in North America, Adam Lisberg, told DroneDJ in a statement.
The US Department of Justice also banned the use of grants last year to buy drones from foreign companies it saw as a threat. Lawmakers have tried to lock down Chinese telecommunications network hardware over vague national security claims. Huawei and ZTE remain on the entity list, although the Biden administration is currently conducting a review.
DJI is also currently on the Entity List, which restricts technology transfers from the United States to the company in China, for alleged human rights violations. Its drones have not been “banned” and there has been virtually no impact on consumers of its products.
This report is extremely important to DJI. There has been an anti-Chinese backlash in the United States, and part of it has focused on DJI products in particular. Ultimately, the country of origin is not what makes a product safe or unsafe; it’s how the product itself is made and how it behaves in the field.
DJI has had a busy few years on the reputation management front, pushing back allegations. This report is invaluable ammunition for these efforts.
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