In a recent Fox News interview, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) urged the Justice Department not to use Chinese drones because they are able to use use as a “Trojan horse” to spy in the United States, thus compromising national security.
Gaetz told host Tucker Carlson that the drones manufactured by Chinese company Da Jiang Innovations (DJI), which are implemented by a number of local police departments in several states, could gather information that would be redirected to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
“China is massively expanding a Trojan horse spying operation in our country, and your local police department maybe unknowingly be helping them,” Gaetz added.
Chinese technology companies have been raising serious concerns among U.S. lawmakers because of the sensitivity of their use to the possibility of espionage, given that CCP law requires companies to share data with the regime.
In early March, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) announced legislation to restrict federal officials’ use of the popular TikTok application. TikTok is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, so it is not exempt from the law requiring data sharing with Beijing.
Regarding recent concerns about the use of Chinese drones in the United States, Gaetz said both the Army and the State Department of the Interior “banned the use of these DJI drones, citing vulnerability and potential value for other countries.”
The Gaetz said during the “Tucker Carlson Tonigh” program that the Department of Homeland Security had released a report that shed light on how the CCP was persecuting local law enforcement.
“They did so even before the coronavirus so that they could get key information and transmit it to the Chinese government, and then our own Department of Homeland Security wrote that this is precisely the type of information we’re worried that China might sell to terrorists,” he said.
According to Daily Caller, Gaetz said DJI reduced the price of its drones by up to 70 percent in an effort to infiltrate the international marketplace, taking advantage of the fact that these mobile devices are being used during confinement caused by the CCP Virus, also known as the new coronavirus.
He also pointed out that the company boasted of having donated the drones to more than 22 states, and more than 40 municipalities, and that when he made some inquiries of the officials in those places, they assured him that they take them to the parks to keep the people dispersed.
Gaetz said the drones are transmitting information to the CCP and then said, “I believe the attorney general, under the existing authority that he has under cybersecurity laws, should immediately ground the entire fleet of DJI drones used by U.S. law enforcement.”
“We should not be spied on by our own government and giving the information then to a foreign government that’s hostile,” he added.
According to a report released by the Department of Homeland Security in 2017, the CCP, through the data collected from DJI, can provide information to terrorist organizations to coordinate attacks against U.S. infrastructure.