Against China's 'Civil-Military Blend' Strategy, Pentagon Blacklists DJI Technology

Against China's 'Civil-Military Blend' Strategy, Pentagon Blacklists DJI Technology

From the results of research by cyber agencies in the United States, two years ago it was discovered that there was a security vulnerability in the DJI drone application on mobile phones, which then prompted the US Department of the Interior since January 2020 to decide to stop using all types of drones produced by DJI Technology for government agencies, citing data security reasons.

But commercially, Da Jiang Innovations (DJI) can still market its products in the US.

Quoted from (6/10/2022), recently there was news from Washington, this time the US Department of Defense (Pentagon) has added more Chinese companies, including drone maker DJI Technology and surveillance/reconnaissance equipment maker Zhejiang Dahua. 

Technology and BGI Genomics Co Ltd were blacklisted which made them subject to investment bans for US citizens.

BGI Genomics operates a large gene database and has DNA sequencing contracts with healthcare companies and universities around the world, and is engaged in the manufacture and sale of rail transport equipment, and was among 13 companies added to the Pentagon's blacklist. 

The BGI developed the prenatal test in collaboration with the Chinese military and used it to collect genetic data for thorough research on population traits.

"We are determined to counter China's civilian-military fusion strategy, which supports China's military modernization goals by ensuring its access to advanced technology and expertise is acquired and developed by companies, universities, and research programs that appear on the surface as civilian entities," a Pentagon spokesman said. in a statement quoted by

The Pentagon blacklist restricts the buying or selling of publicly traded securities in the target company. The initial phase of about 50 Chinese companies, including Huawei, was added to the Pentagon's list in June last year.

At the time, President Joe Biden signed an executive order barring US entities from investing in dozens of Chinese companies allegedly linked to the defense or surveillance technology sector. 

The order is aimed at preventing US investment in supporting China's military-industrial complex, as well as military, intelligence and security research and development programs.

Regarding DJI drones, Director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, William R. Evanina said, “Every Chinese technology company is required by the laws of that country to provide information that they acquire, or information stored on their network, to Chinese authorities upon request. ."

He added that on the basis of this law, all US citizens must be aware that photos, biometrics, locations, and other data stored in the application's data center can be handed over to Chinese security forces.

The release of a security vulnerability report on DJI's applications was also disclosed by researchers from Synacktiv, based in France, and GRIMM, located outside Washington. 

The research also revealed that the DJI application at that time not only collected information from mobile phones, but the DJI application on Android could perform 'updates' or system upgrades without a review from Google before being forwarded to consumers. 

That alone, could violate Google's Android developer terms of service. What's more, the review of upgrades on the application, turned out to be difficult for users to monitor.

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