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U.S. to Ground Civilian Drone Program on Concerns Over China Tech


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A drone fleet.

The U.S. Department of the Interior will ground a civilian drone fleet because the drones are partly sourced from China.

Credit: Shutterstock

The U.S. Department of the Interior reportedly plans to permanently ground a civilian drone fleet, because the approximately 1,000 drones are partly sourced from China.

The department concluded that the risk is too great that the devices could be used by China's government for spying.

The drones were used to help manage wildfires, map terrain, and monitor natural resources.

The Interior Department said it would provisionally ground 810 camera drones while Interior Secretary David Bernhardt reviews their security risks.

A department spokesperson said drones made in China or featuring Chinese components will stay grounded except for emergency use. Staff at several federal agencies have balked at the plan to permanently ground the drone fleet.

From Financial Times
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