National security officials are sounding the alarm about an increasing number of drones flying through restricted areas around the US Capitol in Washington DC
The drones, which are almost entirely made in China, have become a serious problem for both security and counterintelligence security.
Government officials and lawmakers do not believe the drones are linked to foreign governments or attempts to compromise the security of the US Capitol. However, the impact of the rapidly developing technology could pose problems in the future as consumer electronics become more and more advanced.
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An anonymous government contractor familiar with DC airspace regulations and safety told Politico, “There are YouTube videos that could show your grandparents how to update the software on one of these drones so it’s undetectable , and do a whole bunch of other things – lift off height limits and all sorts of stuff. If you bought a DJI drone from a store, it wouldn’t fly over airports or certain cities because of a certain no-fly zone.”
“Anything we see in DC that is a DJI manufactured product has been hacked or tampered with to allow flight in those zones,” the contractor added.
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DJI is one of the most popular drone manufacturers in the industry, and the company requires buyers of its products to download proprietary software and provide users with their own map databases, which have the potential to be monitored remotely.
However, DJI has previously been accused of working closely with the Chinese Communist Party.
Chinese President Xi Jinping Demands that every company keep Communist Party officials in its ranks so that they “listen firmly to the Party and follow the Party.”
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Beijing is also a direct investor in the drone company and retains considerable power over its operations.
The US government placed DJI on a Treasury Department blacklist last December.
Fox News’ Chuck Flint and Joshua Q. Nelson contributed to this report.