DJI's Latest Move to Avoid a US DJI Ban

Did DJI just completely save themselves from being banned in the ? I know we've talked about this a lot lately, and I'm certain that some of you have had enough, but it's never been more serious than it is right now. I think DJI just may have helped their case tremendously. I'll explain all in this video.

YouTube video

Background on the Potential Ban

In case you're not aware, our lawmakers here in America have been on a quest to have DJI drones banned in the United States. They claim it's because of national security concerns and fear that DJI is sharing sensitive information gathered with their drones by Americans with the Chinese government. The bill that could make this happen is coming before the Senate as they look at the National Defense Authorization Act on June 12th of this year.

READ MORE: THE TRUTH ABOUT DJI'S DATA SECURITY

Hopefully, you have done your part by visiting the Drone Advocacy Alliance website and educated your representatives on the truth about this effort. The claim is for national security reasons, but the facts are that there has been no reported evidence of our national security being compromised. Only speculation. The other fact is that there are direct, intimate connections between the representatives driving this effort and the American-owned company that needs DJI out of the picture to be able to compete. It's actually quite embarrassing how obvious it is.

Possible Political Motivations

As I was thinking about it more, there's one thing to consider here. You know, Senator Elise Stafanik was on a short list to be a possible VP candidate for Trump. And a lot of the decisions that she's been making recently, like supporting and sponsoring bills like the anti-DJI bill and imposing tariffs on DJI products, look very good to Trump. So I'm thinking maybe there's a little bit of political motivation here as well for her to get a job with the Trump Administration. Probably not VP because there are a lot better candidates out there for that position, but I'm thinking that she can come to Trump later and say, “Look at what I've done. I'm very anti-. I would love to have a job in your administration,” and he would look at her record and go, “Yeah, you're right, so here's a job for you.” So I definitely think that's part of the equation. It's just my opinion, but it seems pretty obvious to me.

DJI's Game-Changing Announcement

The claim is that information is being collected, right? DJI just announced a move that undeniably, unequivocally removes any chance that their drones that operate in the United States can distribute data back to China.

DJI's New Data Policy

On June 7th, DJI announced that users of their drones in the United States will no longer be able to sync their flight data records to DJI. What this effectively means is that DJI has eliminated the possibility of any data being transmitted to their servers. If the data can't be shared with DJI, then DJI has nothing to share with the Chinese government. Now, not only can you fly in local data mode, but you don't even have the option to upload your flight data to DJI. You can still access your flight data from the controller or from your SD card. After June 12th, 2024, you will no longer be allowed to upload that data. You will, however, be able to download any previously uploaded records, and if you try to upload, it will just give you an error. Then, after June 27th of this year, the update to the will remove the sync button altogether.

Call to Action

This is a call to action for you guys. Even if you have written to your representatives and voiced your opinion on this DJI ban bill, I want you to reach out to them again. I'm going to put a link to the article from DroneXL that speaks about this topic, about DJI not allowing us to upload our flight data anymore. When it comes time for our Senators to hear about this bill, the people presenting it are not going to fill them in, and they are not going to look it up themselves. They need to be informed by their constituents of the facts, and the only way that's going to happen is if you share the facts with them. I'm going to put a link to that article from DroneXL. Thank you to them for sharing that and for making that article. That's where I got most of the information for this video. Copy that address and share it with your representatives and Senators because they need to be informed, and we are the only ones that are going to be able to inform them. So please do that.

Implications of the Ban

Now the question is, what will Stefanik and her cronies use as an argument to push a ban on DJI products? What stories can they come up with to try to sell to their colleagues? By the way, did you know that HR 2864, the DJI ban bill, not only includes drones? If that bill passes as it is worded, it means that every single product that DJI makes becomes unusable in the United States: action cameras, portable power stations, microphones, possibly gimbals (I'm not sure about that one, though).

This bill should not be allowed to pass just for that reason alone. How can you ban a portable power station? What information is going to be collected from a battery?

I'm sorry I keep making videos about this, but hundreds of thousands, literally hundreds of thousands, of people rely on DJI to make a living in this country, to help save people, to conduct so much business. I am one of those people, and you could be one of those people too, but not if BS legislation like this keeps coming up. I think making some extra money with a drone could be done by anyone, and I hope I will still have the opportunity to teach you all about DJI drones.

Commitment to the Community

Even if something does happen and some sort of restrictions occur on DJI products, I want you to know that I am not going anywhere. I will never leave you, and this channel will continue to grow, educate, and entertain for as long as I am capable. Even though we're approaching 300,000 subscribers, there is still so much more that I could do with this channel, and I do appreciate all of your support. Please go visit the Drone Advocacy Alliance website right now. Have a great day.


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3 Comments

  1. I don’t think this is a solution and IMO this is too little to late for DJI. DJI can turn these data sync settings off presumably as easily as they could turn them back on, potentially in a targeted way, and at the request of the CCP. No one other than DJI can change DJI’s signed and encrypted firmware that runs on their products and no one but DJI (or CCP) can influence how their radios work and how data is transmitted and captured from their drones. Anzu and Aloft could have a 100% verified secure app and cloud but they depend on DJI drones running DJI signed and encrypted firmware that Anzu and Aloft have no control over or effectively monitor and this is where their cybersecurity story falls apart. A decent analogy here is that your banks website may be 100% secure but if you are logging into your bank on a computer infected with malware that steals your keystrokes your bank account can still be compromised.

    DJI has spent almost $1.5 million dollars every year for the past 4 years lobbying in the US (link below) and DJI apparently doesn’t have a security leader that can go out and allay these serious security and privacy concerns that have plagued them ever since their app got removed from the Google and Apple app stores years ago because the DJI app could change your phones data sharing settings, capture contact information, and install other programs which goes against all security best practices and the security policies of Google and Apple app stores. Instead of any type of security leader DJI regularly sends their communications people (e.g. Adam Lisberg) to go out and say verifiably false information about DJI’s security, and then say “oops… there was a miscommunication between our engineering and comms people”. Meanwhile DJI is still trying to prevent Ukrainian soldiers from flying their drones through geofencing restrictions while continuing to sell Aeroscope to the Russians. Luckily Ukrainian soldiers just use DJI security issues to down rev DJI’s firmware to versions that allow them to turn off the geofencing and their remoteID. Nothing is preventing DJI from getting contacted by the CCP and requiring to turn on/off data gathering, or try to disrupt anyone the CCP doesn’t agree with via geofencing or other means and this risk it too high for US DoD, Utility, and Public Safety. IMO DJI has done too little too late.

    https://www.opensecrets.org/federal-lobbying/clients/summary?cycle=2023&id=D000069779

  2. This token move by DJI does not advert anything with HR 2864. The bill is based on unsubstantiated claims and removing the cloud synchronized logs is virtually meaningless in that respect.
    The equipment is made in China, as well as the firmware and software app. That’s what the proponents continue to see, and deem as the problem.
    Unless DJI figures out a way to move everything it designs and builds out of China, it will never be enough to satisfy the current paranoia surrounding their products.
    While some might consider DJI’s latest move to be conciliatory, it does nothing to placate those who aren’t satisfied with actual testing results demonstrating their concerns are largely unfounded. It also makes the decision of users to use third party flight applications that much easier as the DJI app/software loses functionality.

    • Umm, they already have figured out a way! Spectra air drones are DJI drones without the DJI name and not made in China.👍 Corporations with as much money as DJI will moste than likely always be able to work around any type of problems they face with selling their products to the consumers who want it.

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