DJI has slammed the US Department of Interior’s decision to ground its drone program of non-emergency UAV fleet operations.
The Department of Interior, a federal executive department of President Trump’s U.S. government, affirmed the temporary decision earlier this week.
Commenting as part of the announcement, DOI spokesperson, Carol Danko, said: “Drones are important to critical Department of the Interior missions, such as combating wildfires and conducting life-saving search and rescue operations; however, we must ensure that the technology used for these operations is such that it will not compromise our national security interests.”
In response to the decision, DJI said the decision “inappropriately treats a technology’s country of origin as a litmus test for its performance, security and reliability.”
It stated: “DJI, the world’s leader in civilian drones and aerial imaging technology, is extremely disappointed by the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) order released today which inappropriately treats a technology’s country of origin as a litmus test for its performance, security and reliability.
“This action will ground the entire DOI drone program, which relies on drones made with globally sourced components to create the federal government’s largest and most innovative civilian drone fleet.
Adding: “This decision makes clear that the U.S. government’s concerns about DJI drones, which make up a small portion of the DOI fleet, have little to do with security and are instead part of a politically-motivated agenda to reduce market competition and support domestically produced drone technology, regardless of its merits.”
It continued: “DJI makes some of the industry’s most safe, secure, and trusted drone platforms for commercial operators. The security of our products designed specifically for the DOI and other U.S. government agencies have been independently tested and validated by U.S. cybersecurity consultants, U.S. federal agencies including the Department of Interior and the Department of Homeland Security, which proves today’s decision has nothing to do with security.”
Concluding: “We are opposed to the politically-motivated country of origin restrictions masquerading as cybersecurity concerns and call for policymakers and industry stakeholders to create clear standards that will give commercial and government drone operators the assurance they need to confidently evaluate drone technology on the merits of performance, security and reliability, no matter where it is made.”
This statement was in response to the DOI statement which read on:
“After an ongoing review of Interior’s drone program, Secretary Bernhardt issued a Secretary’s Order today, affirming the temporary cessation of non-emergency drones while we ensure that cybersecurity, technology and domestic production concerns are adequately addressed.”
“Drone use for non-emergency operations will remain grounded while the Department of the Interior reviews the possibility of threats and ensures a secure, reliable and consistent drone policy that advances our mission while keeping America safe. Drone operations will continue to be allowed in approved situations for emergency purposes, such as fighting wildfires, search and rescue and dealing with natural disasters that may threaten life or property.”
Earlier in the month, DJI said the drone program review had a “lack of credible evidence.”
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