This piece originally appeared in The Messenger.
With the Senate's National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Congress has taken a major step towards protecting the U.S. government from Chinese interference. The Senate bill’s inclusion of the American Security Drone Act as an amendment would ban federal departments from buying drones manufactured in China, showing that Congress is waking up to the federal government’s dependence on Chinese drones.
Now, we need to apply that same degree of vigilance in the states.
Attention on Chinese drones’ prevalence in the U.S. government has generally focused on state public safety agencies. And with good reason: Police departments and related agencies have purchased thousands of these drones for surveillance, but the drones’ serious cybersecurity vulnerabilities make them unsafe for such sensitive work. But the problem goes far beyond the police; other agencies at the local, state and federal levels are dangerously dependent on Chinese drones, too.
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