My Concerns About the DJI Ban in the United States

Although I'm less concerned than I used to be about an all-out ban on DJI happening in the , I do want to share some information that should remove any doubts you have about the actual reason it continues to get pushed.

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Disclaimer

First things first, I want to ensure you understand that this is only my opinion based on the information available to me. I recommend doing your research and forming your own opinion. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. It can be cathartic for us to share these feelings because this is a stressful topic and will continue to be for a while.

READ MORE: DRONE ADVOCACY ALLIANCE: THE NEW FORCE IN PROTECTING DRONE USE AND CHOICE

Personal Update

For those interested, at the end of this video, I'll provide a life update about my family and our next steps in our healing journey. I appreciate it if you want to hang out; if not, no worries.

National Security Concerns

Not long ago, I believed there was some truth to the national security narrative for prohibiting DJI's ability to utilize our network in the United States. I don't believe that anymore. Yes, it may be a small part of the initiative, but the primary reason for the effort to ban DJI by our lawmakers is 100% protectionism. I strongly believe this is orchestrated by one company and one company only. Again, this is only my opinion.

READ MORE: BLUE SUAS PROBLEMS AND FLORIDA DMS SECRETARY ACCUSED OF PIMPING FOR SKYDIO

The Role of American Companies

I've explained many times that one American drone company has a direct connection to our federal government through their vice president of regulatory and policy affairs, Brendan Groves, a real-life Superman when it comes to his resume as an American patriot. He's been around for a long time and has been a part of this discussion and effort.

The Smoking Gun

Here is the real smoking gun and literal proof in my eyes that the smart blue drone company is going Tanya Harding on DJI. Joe Bartlett, who I somehow missed months ago, was hired in November 2023 as their director of federal policy.

Joe Bartlett's Background

Who is Joe Bartlett, you ask? Let's browse through his LinkedIn profile. He is the vice chair of the defense advocacy committee of AUVSI, the folks who say they unequivocally do not support an all-out immediate ban of DJI. Yet, they emailed a state senator in , congratulating and supporting legislation for the immediate ban of DJI products in that state.

Legislative Connections

Where did Joe Bartlett work until just last year? The US House of Representatives as a national security adviser to Elise Stefanik, the sponsor of HR 2864, also known as the bill to ban all DJI products in the United States. So, who do you think wrote that bill? I'm not sure, but I think I could make a pretty good guess. Do you think I'm way out of line here? Am I just jumping to conclusions and creating associations where there aren't any? If I am, please tell me in the comments.

The Market Reality

DJI is a juggernaut with technology and resources that nobody can currently compete with. The reason they own 34% of the market worldwide is because they are doing things right. The commercial and industrial drone sector is not going anywhere; it is only going to skyrocket. It is a golden goose, and the one American drone company that exists is not fully prepared to cash in. They want to cash in, but that's hard to do when you don't have the tools to match what your competition can offer.

Concerns About DJI Ban in the United States
Concerns About DJI Ban in the United States

The Legislative System

That leaves only one option: find yourself a way to bring them to their knees using the American legislative system. It's very frustrating the way things happen sometimes in this country. Did you know that at any given time, there are about 300,000 devices connected to our network from over 460 Chinese-based companies, and that number increases every year? How many of those have a bill in Congress right now to be banned from using our networks? How many other have prohibited or are seeking to prohibit the purchase or use of DJI drones? I don't think there's a single one.

Educating Legislators

Our only option for combating this is to do our best to educate our legislators. The single best way to do that is to visit the Drone Advocacy Alliance website. We have to be a voice louder than the narrative. I'll put a link in the video description to help you find your representatives so you can reach out and help educate them.

The New Bill: Drones for First Responders Act

I did just learn that Stefanik is pushing her new bill called the Drones for First Responders Act. It sounds nice, but it's absurd. She proposes a 30% tariff on all Chinese-made drones with a 5% increase every year until it gets to 50%, plus an additional $100. She claims the money will help , farmers, and infrastructure agents in America purchase American-made drones.

Reality Check

Increasing the price of drones for those who need them most is not the solution. Providing discounts on American drones that don't exist and likely never will because nothing has happened in the past 10 years is not a solution. What makes her think something will happen in the next five years?

American Drone Companies

Before you come at me in the comments, I want to make sure you understand that I am being overly dramatic when I say non-existent American . I know there are plenty of American drone companies, especially in the military and government space. I don't want to take anything away from companies like and Dragonfly, American Robot, and others. When I state that, I'm referring to companies offering similar solutions that DJI offers for small-time enterprise and commercial users.

The Solution

I want us to make the best drones in the world. I hope there is a day when we produce a superior product that competes, but why can't it be done the old-fashioned way with Yankee ingenuity and innovation? Make a better product and push out the competition with quality. Make a better drone! Why is that so hard?

Final Thoughts on DJI Ban

Don't let all this talk about banning deter you from enjoying your hobby. It may sound stressful, but don't stress because I believe this will all work out. The reason things are scary is because of the uncertainty. Do your part by writing to your representatives and educating them. Let me know your thoughts in the comments. Click the thumbs up if I helped you understand everything going on right now. I appreciate it.

Life Update

For those interested, here is a little life update. Last fall, my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. It's like getting punched as hard as you can in the stomach, and the pain never subsides. It's very overwhelming, but the love and support from so many people drive you forward. It really is true.

Thank you for all the encouragement, prayers, and well wishes over the past six months. They have made it better for us. My wife is done with chemotherapy and had minimal side effects. She continued to work full-time throughout, which was difficult for her. My admiration for her has reached a new level. She is stronger than I ever imagined, and our family is blessed to witness her fortitude.

Our next step is to head back to Mayo Clinic for surgery. My wife is attacking it with the same attitude she has had through chemo and the side effects. I'm not attacking it like she is. Thinking about my wife going under anesthesia and having parts of her body removed is overwhelming and frightening. But worrying accomplishes nothing, so I will lean on her strength.

We are going as a family and will try to make the most of our time there. We have a few fun things planned for the kids in between medical appointments. My wife will be off work for about a month as she won't be able to use her arms and hands as she normally does. We are prepared for that.

I don't want charity. There are many people who need more help than we do. All I ask is for your continued support through prayers, watching my previous videos, and using my affiliate link when shopping. That keeps this channel running and provides for my family.

Community

Thank you so much for all your comments, thoughts, and love. People have sent handwritten letters, which is a lost art but really cool. It shows genuine concern and well wishes for my family. I am proud of this community that I am a small part of. You guys are the best. Have a great day, and thanks for watching. We'll see you in the next video.


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Russ 51 Drones
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5 Comments

  1. Hey. First of all, hope your wife get better.
    I would like to ask you a question, if you have any opinion or information. I am not a US citizen nor live here (I’m from Europe) but use a DJI drone all over the world. Do you have any idea if the supposed ban will affect those like me if we want to come with our DJI drone to the US or won’t be able to use it?
    Thanks

    • If the proposed legislation to ban DJI drones in the United States is passed, it would likely impact all DJI drone users, including non-US citizens visiting the country.

      Here are the key points:

      • The Countering CCP Drones Act aims to add DJI to the FCC’s Covered List, which would prohibit DJI technologies from operating on US communications infrastructure.
      • If DJI’s FCC authorizations get revoked, all operators who use DJI drones will be affected regardless of whether they use it for recreational or commercial use. This would stop US customers from getting new DJI products.

      • The ban would prevent new DJI products from coming to market in the United States. The ban would only apply to new models of DJI drones from the time the law is passed onward. Drones that people already own would still be allowed.

      • If passed, the legislation would immediately restrict DJI from using any wireless communications spectrum for control of their drones in the entire United States and territories, as the FCC controls all wireless communications.

      So in summary, if you are a non-US citizen planning to travel to the US with your existing DJI drone, you would likely still be able to bring and use it based on the current proposed legislation. However, you would not be able to purchase any new DJI drone models in the US once the ban takes effect. The ban would prevent all DJI drones, regardless of the user’s citizenship, from operating on US communications networks.

      However, for the time being, you are good to go. Just make sure you follow the FAA rules for flying drones in the US. The easiest way to fly would be to bring a DJI Mini drone weighing less then 250 grams. These drones do not require you to register with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as long as you fly purely recreationally. If you fly professionally, you will need a Part 107 Certificate. Also, be sure to get your TRUST exam wihich is free and can get done online.

      More info: https://faadronezone-access.faa.gov/#/

  2. What gets me is this idiot president and his bozo cabinet sat and watched Chinese ballon’s float across the country from sea to shining sea then decided to shoot them down and they are worried out drones are spying . Wtf man

  3. Dude, is EVERYTHING Political with you clowns? Give it a rest, will ya?
    OTOH/ Best wishes for your fam, man…

  4. I pray your wife’s treatment is 100 percent successful.
    The DJI issue is beyond political. The technical fact is the by design when your DJI controller/drone connects to the Internet a lot of information about what your drone has been up to and is being prepped for is sent to open Internet servers in China as well as in the USA. Apparently this includes images from the drone video, location, etc. your system also gets data from these servers.
    If you value your privacy, this should concern you. If you think NSA is watching you, you’re thinking to small. The Chinese are! (The DJI design allows them too by using your connections to the Internet)
    In theory, your DJI drone software can be updated remotely without your knowledge, etc

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