Australian Border Force discontinues DJI drone use until a safety review is conducted

- International - May 24, 2023
Australian Border Force stops using DJI drones, safety review underway
Australian Border Force stops using DJI drones, safety review underway


The Australian Border Force no longer employs drones produced by the Chinese firm DJI. The Australian Defence Force is presently evaluating the US-blacklisted drone manufacturer.

The Australian reported that Justine Saunders, the Australian Department of Home Affairs chief operational officer, made the announcement during a Senate hearing in the Federal Parliament on Monday, May 22. When questioned, Sanders responded, “We have effectively suspended the use of these devices.”

According to Saunders, who was quoted by the Australian newspaper, “I issued an order last week to prevent the use of these drones.

“A thorough evaluation of the products’ safety by Chinese producers.

The Australian Border Force purchased 41 drones from DJI between 2017 and this month as part of a pilot program to investigate the extension of remote technology operation capabilities, according to Australian media.

Australian Border Force discontinues DJI drone use until a safety review is conducted

Australian Border Force discontinues DJI drone use until a safety review is conducted

Both the US Department of Commerce and the US Department of Defence have placed DJI on a blacklist and implemented targeted limits on its US sales. However, up until last month, the Australian Ministry of Defence used the hundreds of DJI drones it regularly uses without any limitations.

This month, the Australian Department of Defence made the decision to halt the use of all DJI goods, including drones, and to launch a six-month dangerous technology audit. James Paterson, a senator from Australia, raised worry. He claimed that if he hadn’t brought up the matter during his interview, the Australian military might have kept using these Chinese products.

“Don’t we need to be more proactive in assessing the cybersecurity and technology risks posed by these companies?” Patterson was reported as asking by the Australian publication. Australian Department of Defence Secretary

Domestic Affairs Michael Pezzullo emphasized that essential Governments all over the world are likely to adopt a “more uniform or broadly restrictive” attitude to technology use as a result of how interconnected technologies are becoming.

According to Pezulo, “drones, cameras, or other imaging devices could be sending data back to the main server,” and democratic governments may want to think twice before employing such equipment.

China’s Shenzhen is where DJI is based. It sells drones all over the world that are well-liked by customers. However, an increasing number of nations are worried about the security of goods produced by Chinese technology businesses as a result of China’s authoritarian government. A growing number of nations have banned or restricted the use of DJI drones as well as items from digital behemoths Huawei and ByteDance.

In order to restrict business dealings between DJI and American businesses, the U.S. Department of Commerce placed DJI drones on the “Entity List” (commonly known as the “blacklist”) in December 2020. This move was justified on the grounds of “protecting U.S. national security.”

A U.S. corporation must submit an application to the Department of Commerce in order to buy DJI products. Only after approval is received may transactions move forward. However, the U.S. military continues to buy DJI devices, and this system of case-by-case approval has not successfully stopped the flow of DJI products into the country. The US Congress has expressed alarm over this.

The American Department of Defence forbade the military from acquiring DJI drones in 2017. Concerns about the security of Chinese drones in the United States were once again aroused by the incident involving the spy balloon in China that occurred earlier this year.

A letter requesting that the White House look into the security dangers posed by DJI drones was signed by sixteen members of the US Congress earlier this month. The letter warns that the Chinese government may employ widely used DJI drones in the US to gather information on vital energy infrastructure there. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) of the Department of Homeland Security has been tasked by lawmakers to “re-examine” the security threats posed by DJI.

According to statistics, DJI will hold up to 90% of the UAV industry in the United States by 2021.

DJI has denied any data leaks from its drones, calling the allegations that it gave Chinese authorities access to American data “completely false allegations.” A further study mentioned by DJI likewise came to the conclusion that users of DJI drones have total control over the data gathering, transfer, and storage processes.









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