Chinese Drone Threat Raises Foreign Espionage Concerns Among U.S. Officials

Enough Chinese-made recreational drones have been spotted in restricted airspace in the Washington, D.C. area to raise foreign espionage concerns among U.S. government agencies and lawmakers alike.

The drones, which are manufactured by DJI and sold at major retailers, can be altered by users to override the geofencing limitations that prevent the devices from flying over sensitive locations. 

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Democrat-Linked PR Firm Lobbies Against Bill Blacklisting Chinese Drone Manufacturer

A public relations firm run by former Democratic operatives and tied to foreign influence campaigns is working on behalf of a Chinese drone manufacturer blacklisted for alleged human rights abuses to lobby a provision contained in Congress’ bipartisan legislative package targeting China.

DJI, a drone maker based out of Shenzhen, China, has paid CLS Strategies $190,000 in 2021 to lobby on drone legislation including the American Security Drone Act, according to lobbying disclosure forms. The act was reintroduced by Republican Sen. Rick Scott in January and prevents the federal government from procuring drones manufactured or assembled in China, with certain exceptions.

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