According to a report seen by DroneXL, the two DJI Government Edition drones have been cleared and recommended by the Pentagon as they do not show “malicious code or intent.”
DJI Government Edition drones cleared by Pentagon
“The DJI Government Edition versions that were tested, show no malicious code or intent and are recommended for use by government entities and forces working with US services.”
The “DJI Government Edition Android & Assistant Update Analysis” is dated May 6th, 2021 and only a small part of it has been made available. According to The Hill, the report’s author Adam Prater is a second chief warrant officer with the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, who has declined to comment on the report’s content publicly.
The report analyses “what requested changes were implemented, and what changes were not made in an updated release of the DJI Government Edition Android Application, and DJI Assistant Government Edition 2.”
In January of 2020, the Department of the Interior grounded its fleets of more than 500 DJI drones over cybersecurity concerns. Only for emergency operations could the drones be used. The Hill reports that in March of this year, the DOI did make it easier for drone operations to be considered as an emergency.
DJI has always denied that any information from its drones would be sent back to China. The drone maker developed the Government Edition drones together with the DOI.
“This U.S. Government report is the strongest confirmation to date of what we, and independent security validations, have been saying for years – DJI drones are safe and secure for government and enterprise operations. DJI believes defining specific standards and requirements, regardless of a drone’s country of origin, is the best way to ensure the security of drone data,” DJI spokesperson, Adam Lisberg said to DroneXL.
Last year, Booz Allen Hamilton had come to the same conclusion saying that the consulting firm had not found any evidence of data being transferred to China.
While this is great news for drone maker DJI and we are hopeful now that the DJI Government Edition drones have been cleared, the DOI will restart their drone program, the dronemaker is not completely out of the woods yet. DJI is still included in the Commerce Department’s “entity list,” which effectively blacklists the company. Furthermore, in 2020 the Justice Department prohibited the use of agency grants to acquire drones from foreign companies that are deemed a threat. And, lastly, DJI is still under fire from various lawmakers who are deciding whether to impose restrictions against the use of Chinese-made drones.
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Photo: The Hill