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Banned DJI Drones in Australia: Unveiling the Evidence

Banned DJI Drones in Australia: Unveiling the Evidence

The Australian drone industry has been hit with concerns over data security and potential national security risks. The Australian government has implemented bans on drones from Da Jiang Innovations (DJI) mimicking the latest move from the US Department of Defense blacklisting DJI drones.

According to DefenseNews[1]  DJI drones are frequently hacked to enable them to bypass restricted airspace such as the no-fly zones around Washington, D.C. YouTube videos explain how to circumvent safeguards such as geofencing to restrict their flying over sensitive areas – opening up for potential foreign interference, data leaks, spying and espionage.

Officials are worried that DJI may have ties to the Chinese military and could hack into drones that have flown in restricted areas, using the images of secure locations to their benefit. A claim DJI has denied and moreover provide assurance that data transmitted through SSL are encrypted.[2]

Australian government has imposed the ban for the use of any DJI drones or products by the Australian Defence Force (ADF). This has led to the Australian Federal Police, Australian Border Force and The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to ground their DJI drone fleet. The bans on DJI drones have significant implications for drone enthusiasts, businesses and industries relying on this technology. Australian drone operators and businesses will need to keep an eye on this developing situation. There is limited choice of drone models, hindering ability to leverage advanced features and technologies. It can potentially lock out many operators of government contracts as most will need to buy more expensive drones from a limited range of approved models.

[1] https://www.defensenews.com/opinion/commentary/2023/01/12/more-can-be-done-to-ban-us-government-use-of-chinese-drones/

[2] https://pilotinstitute.com/dji-blacklist-2/