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Matt Gaetz calls on AG Barr to ban use of Chinese drones in U.S. law enforcement

The Florida congressman cites a DHS report indicating Chinese drones may be used to collect U.S. infrastructure data to transmit back to the Chinese government

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Rep. Matt Gaetz outside U.S. Capitol
Matt Gaetz
Updated: May 5, 2020 - 11:02pm

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Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) is calling on Attorney General William Barr to order the grounding of all China-connected DJI drones used by law enforcement across the U.S. – including state and local agencies.

DJI (Dà-Jiāng Innovations) is a Chinese technology company that is suspected of using information from the drones used by U.S. law enforcement to feed sensitive data back to the Chinese government.

In 2017, the Department of Homeland Security released a report, in which they determined that DJI had specifically marketed their product to local law enforcement agencies, and as a result, China is able to “provide DJI information to terrorist organizations … to coordinate attacks against U.S. critical infrastructure.”

The findings of DHS’s report prompted the U.S. Army and the Department of the Interior to end their use of DJI drones. However, law enforcement agencies across the country continue to use them, and several dozen local agencies recently accepted a donation of the drones from DJI, despite the national security risk they pose.

On a Fox News "Tucker Carlson Tonight" appearance, Gaetz spoke about his letter sent Monday to Barr and called the DJI drones a “Trojan horse spying operation in our country” that local police departments may unwittingly be helping.

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