Senators feared drones over Washington pose a spy threat from China

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Senators are increasingly concerned that a series of Chinese-made drones in restricted airspace over Washington DC could be a new form of espionage. Politics reported.

The drones are produced by Chinese company DJI and are designed with “geofencing” restrictions to keep them out of sensitive locations. But they are used via simple solutions to fly over no-go zones in Washington.

This raised the concerns of lawmakers and federal officials, and drone experts have provided briefings to the Senate Homeland Security, Commerce and Intelligence Committees. A spokesman for the intelligence commission declined to comment on the briefings, and the other two commissions did not respond.

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officials who spoke Politics on condition of anonymity said they do not believe the Chinese government directed the swarms of drones, but they mark a new turn in the rise of drones that can be used for recreation and commerce.

“Any technology product originating in China or Chinese companies carries a real risk and potential of vulnerability that can be exploited both now and in times of conflict,” said Senator Marco Rubio, vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. “But anything technological has the potential to have vulnerabilities embedded in the software or in the actual hardware that can be exploited at any time.”

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DJI said it has no control over what users do with their products once users purchase them.

“While DJI makes every effort to identify and inform our customers of areas where they cannot fly, unfortunately we have no control over end-user behavior,” said Arianne Burrell, communications manager for DJI Technology, Inc.

“This could just be innocent data collection — or really just looking around, seeing what happens — and not in a systemized way,” Rachel Stohl, vice president of research programs at the Stimson Center, told me. Politics. “But the potential, of course, is that they could end up being more dangerous.”

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Senate Homeland Security Chairman Gary Peters recently introduced legislation that would allow Departments of Homeland Security and Justice, along with state and local law enforcement, to detect and counter drones deemed a security threat .

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