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Chinese Drones Hovering Over Washington

DJI Mavic Pro set off into the sunset 1 of 17

Federal authorities and drone industry experts briefed lawmakers on Capitol Hill about hundreds of recreational drones manufactured by the Chinese Drones Company- DJI, have violated the boundaries of controlled airspace. The information was provided in classified instructions to the Senate Homeland Security, Commerce, and Intelligence groups.

While the drones are meant to be banned from D.C.’s restricted airspace, such geofencing regulations can be ignored with a few minor adjustments.

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The information has raised questions about espionage. According to Bryan Bender and Andrew Desiderio, although DJI is not sponsored by the Chinese government, it has close financial relations with Beijing and is listed as having investors in public records.

“Any technical product with sources in China or Chinese enterprises carries a genuine danger and capability of vulnerability that may be used both now and in a moment of conflict,” said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

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“Anything technical has the potential to have inbuilt flaws that can be utilized at any time, whether in the software or hardware.”

Recent information provided to Congress demonstrates the scope of the problem: in just a 45-day span, there were over 100 invasions into the “special flying rules” area in the Washington location. To fly inside the area, drone operators must acquire permissions from the FAA, but these did not.

For doubts to appear regarding Congress’ ability to come up with a year-end funding agreement in time to fulfill their deadline and prevent a government shutdown. Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), a member of the GOP Appropriations Committee, is not making any arrangements for the Christmas holiday in case negotiations continue into the final weeks of December. Nope. He told Caitlin Emma, “Washington is lovely in the snow.”

Before you realize it, the deadline of December 16 will have passed. Additionally, strong efforts to negotiate a settlement have been hampered by the lengthy election results procedure and lame-duck leadership games. Democrats performed significantly better than expected in the midterm elections, and the margins for the Senate won’t be known till a runoff in Georgia on December 6.