Article by by Peter Schweizer.
The Chinese company DJI controls nearly 90% of the world market for consumer and commercial grade drones.
The excellent reporting on DJI by Kitchen tracks efforts by the company to lobby against passage of a bill called the American Security Drone Act (ASDA), now before Congress, to outlaw federal government use of DJI products entirely. What is the risk? Not only the data gathered by the drones themselves, but everything collected by the mobile app with which users control their drones and manage their DJI accounts. Like many other mobile applications, this includes a user's contacts, photos, GPS location, and online activities.
Every DJI drone in the skies above America is as good as a hovering Chinese spy.
DJI is engaged in a fierce lobbying effort to prevent passage of the ASDA bill. So fierce that they have enlisted police officers from local jurisdictions to come to Washington and lobby congressional staffers about how great DJI drones are for their cash-strapped local forces.... DJI lobbyists from firms like Squire Patton Boggs, Cassidy & Associates, and CLS Strategies are taking no chances. The company spent $2.2 million in lobbying efforts in 2020 and $1.4 million last year on lobbying activities, according to OpenSecrets.org.
Much as they are doing with products such as solar panels, the Chinese realize that cornering the market in an area where reach equals access is critical to their long-term plans to dominate. Their pattern includes stealing technology they cannot create themselves and using any means available to aid in that theft. Therefore, every bit of access to information they can scour is of more value to them than the product used to get it.
Understanding these patterns is central to recognizing that the Chinese do this to their own people as well.... through many different forms of what we may baldly call blackmail.
The Wilson Center, a bipartisan think tank in Washington, reported in 2017 that a small community of PRC students and diplomats have engaged in intimidation tactics ranging from intelligence gathering to financial retaliation... It was just those sorts of concerns that led the Trump administration to create the "China Initiative" within the Justice Department in 2018. This effort generated plenty of convictions of Chinese nationals in the US for technology theft and other forms of industrial espionage. The Biden administration ended the program this year....
China's strategy has for years hinged on infiltration by some Chinese scientists and researchers working abroad in the US and other western nations, with threats against their Chinese relatives as leverage for them to do so.
Peter Schweizer, President of the Governmental Accountability Institute, is a Gatestone Institute Distinguished Senior Fellow and author of the new book, Red Handed: How American Elites are Helping China Win.
For the full article in pdf, please click here:
Pictured: A police sergeant in Exeter, England pilots a DJI drone on May 25, 2021, as part of security preparations for the G7 Summit that was attended by US President Joe Biden and leaders of the other G7 countries. (Photo by Geoff Caddick/AFP via Getty Images)