Feds buy Chinese drones deemed possible national security threat
Federal law enforcement agencies are purchasing surveillance drones from a Chinese company the Pentagon has deemed a potential national security threat, Axios has learned.
Why it matters: Efforts to purge military and law enforcement agencies of potentially compromised Chinese technology have stalled amid bureaucratic red tape, and experts worry the federal government is needlessly exposing itself to snooping by malicious foreign actors.
Driving the news: The U.S. Secret Service is the latest to purchase surveillance drones from the Shenzhen-based company DJI, which dominates the commercial drone market in the U.S. and abroad.
- The Secret Service bought eight DJI drones on July 26, according to procurement records obtained by the industry publication IPVM and shared with Axios.
- That was three days after the Defense Department released a statement saying DJI products “pose potential threats to national security.”
- The FBI bought 19 DJI drones a few days earlier, records show.