U.S Government Bans the use of DJI Products

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This is an unprecedented step that will quickly be adopted by all other federal and state agencies.  Add to that the hacking of the GoApp and the discovery that DJI violated the GPL license agreement, makes for a pretty tough week for DJI.

Discontinue_Use_of_Dajiang_Innovation_(DJI_ Corporation_Unmanned_Aircraf....pdf

Edited by Av8Chuck
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This was also posted here:


DJI claims that they were unaware of the issue, that is a lie.  The Department of the Navy contacted DJI more than four months ago to inform them of their cyber concerns as part of the research for the report they published in May.


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Actually, both the Army and Department of the Navy have banned them.  So Far.

In order for the commercial drone industry to take hold, the application of drones has to yield data that users can trust.  There's a lot that goes into earning customers trust, partly the technology, the vendors understanding of the customer's needs, and the vendors' policies.   

We're already getting phone calls from organizations that are not directly affected by the ban but who have been told that because of the project their working on is funded by a federal grant they cannot use DJI.  

It really doesn't matter who initiated the bad, the result will be the same.  DJI will probably be kicked to the curb pretty fast.  And like I mentioned previously the accusation that they may have violated the open source GPL license agreement, even if it's not true, will have a profound effect on whether large utilities, state DoT's, universities etc., will trust them.  Does anyone think this memorandum will have a positive impact?  

For anyone surprised by this, you shouldn't be, this has been in the wind for more than six months.  But DJI pretty much ignored it.  Don't you wonder what the whole GEO Fencing controversy was about?     

Along with AirMap, DJI tried to social engineer a "pay-for-play" "user fee" drone system.  They just got their hand caught in the cookie jar.  If they're smart they'll leave the commercial market to protect their consumer interests.  AirMap had better distance themselves from DJI as fast and far as they can.

DJI overreached and they're going to pay dearly for it.  

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15 minutes ago, Av8Chuck said:

It shouldn't make any difference what model of drone is flying?  

I agree, but the request form online does have a field for what drone. As I understand, the FAA's reasoning being a centralized authorization system was to screen what UAS would be used in order to determine it's safety features. I recall a publication that stated towers could not discern whether a particular craft had failsafe features, but the centralized personnel could.

I can see the FAA determining that DJI products can be hacked and are therefore no longer safe for commercial operations in controlled airspace. Sure, it seems far fetched, but so did the idea of needing a pilot's license to take photos for hire with a remote aircraft just a couple years ago.

Edited by JBR LIFE Photography
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  • 4 weeks later...


It's amazing how long it's taken for people to realize what's happening.  DJI's reaction to this issue is too little, too late.  First they denied it, then they said they knew nothing about it, not sure which is worse but this article just confirms they don't know what to do about it.  The military will never reverse the ban and that will eventually be DJI's undoing.

It doesn't matter what DJI does now, it only matters how quickly their competition can scale to take advantage of this opportunity. 

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Anyone who knows me knows that I'm not a huge fan of DJI.  I have been very vocal calling out the hypocrisy of their policies and the inadequacy of most of their drones for commercial applications.

As far as DJI being the industry leading consumer drone company you have to give them a lot of credit, they have some great products.  It all started going pear shaped when they began to go after the commercial drone market.  I'm certainly not one to give them much slack as they try to spin their way out of this but I'm surprised at how quickly the drone community is beginning to turn against DJI.

I'm a bit surprised at articles like this one:  https://www.suasnews.com/2017/08/why-should-we-trust-dji/  There's quite a bit in this article I agree with and I like to see Airmap get called to the carpet, they're as culpable for this mess as DJI.

As much as I might enjoy some of this, I do take exception with some of what suasnews.com is publishing regarding this situation.  The author of this article is the Founder of the organization that he claims is "perfectly tailored to that mission and is rapidly expanding to fill its role."  It's their blog, they are entitled to say whatever they like but a lot of news organizations that know or understand very little about this situation are quoting suasnews.com as a credible source of information.  Maybe they are, but clearly, there's an agenda that goes well beyond reporting the news.

I'm not saying that this is a poorly written article and I agree with the need for a "trade association."  But that association needs to come together for the right reasons, not based on paranoia and half truths.  What's happening to DJI is bad for the entire civil drone industry because it should never have gone this far.  This industry should already have an organization that could have worked with DJI, the government, other trade organizations etc., to resolve many of these issues.  

So as much as I don't like DJI I think as an industry we all bear some responsibility.  A lot of people forgave DJI for its many indiscretions because they wanted to believe you could buy an inexpensive drone, push a button and it would cure cancer, or measure a 2,000-acre field within 2cm etc.  

I'm sure DJI will be fine and hopefully, VC's will begin investing in drone hardware, companies will evaluate more than just DJI and as a result, we see a lot more competition in this market.

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  • 4 months later...

Resurrecting an oldie but a goodie...  

It’s amazing to me why people will knowingly give up thier right to privacy, with FacEBook, Google and your iPhone - “they already know everything about you so what difference does it make” sort of attitude. Whether it’s cloud services, personal home devices or drones, companies and governments don’t have the right to spy on you. It’s interesting that the same people get so incensed if the data was collected through these ubiquitous activities is somehow used against them.  What on earth do these people think the collected data will be used for, getting another “like” on Instagram?  

I guess it’s a generational thing. My generation had a saying, “ignorance is no excuse.”  I guess the current generations saying would be more like “ignorance is bliss.”  

So what does this have to do with DJI? Other than the attitude towards data security not that much I guess but I thought I’d share this article that points out that this issue is not relegated to Chinese drone manufacturers:


DJI got their corporate hand caught in the cookie jar and they deserve to get it cut off, but they certainly aren’t the only ones.  What will be interesting is the people who will defend this type of intrusion in our lives as no big deal, it’s not the technology it’s who’s using it and why?  

This isn’t intended to be a conspiracy thread, JUST GET OFF MY LAWN...

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5 hours ago, Av8Chuck said:

I guess it’s a generational thing. My generation had a saying, “ignorance is no excuse.”  I guess the current generations saying would be more like “ignorance is bliss.”

Different times.  I just listened to a tech podcast where they are testing linking facial recognition to your e-pay account of choice.  You don't need money, cards, or even your phone.  You just walk up to the counter, make your purchase and walk away.  Your face was used to authenticate that it was you.  They didn't go into the privacy thing because nobody seems to care.  It's just convenient. Everywhere you go,  every purchase you make,  etc. is logged.  Good times, right?  Distopia is already here.

This was in South Korea, by the way.

Edited by Dave Pitman
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