The circulation of Chinese drones in U.S. airspace is expected to be removed after new legislation was introduced in Congress on Thursday, May 21, that would prevent their acquisition given growing concerns about spying maneuvers by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
According to the Washington Free Beacon, Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), who is part of the Senate Armed Services Committee, referred to legislation titled the Protection of Our Skies Against Chinese Technology Act of 2020 to prevent the purchase of Chinese-made drones.
Concerns in Congress about U.S. reliance on Chinese technology have intensified since such devices have been used in some states to force citizens to comply with isolation measures, in addition to monitoring infrastructure.
The law therefore seeks to tighten restrictions on federal funding for the purchase of drones manufactured by the CCP or other entities under its control.
Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), also recently announced a law called “Buzz Off,” which seeks to prevent the United States from copying other countries that have begun to deploy drones in their airspace by justifying the need to establish strict surveillance during the confinement.
“In California, drones have been equipped with speakers and cameras to help enforce the coronavirus [CCP Virus] lockdown; in at least one New Jersey city, these devices are being deployed to harangue citizens into heeding social distancing guidelines,” Biggs said, the Washington Times reported.
A Democratic congresswoman has joined Republican congressmen in calling for a nationwide ban on Chinese drones, many of which have been donated to state and local law enforcement.
The drones that were donated by the Chinese company Da Jiang Innovations earlier this year look like a “forced” gift, Rep. Sheila Jackson (D-Texas) told the Washington Examiner.
Jackson said letters backed by several Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee had recently been sent to various federal agencies requesting information about the Chinese company that is manufacturing the drones.
As the Washington Examiner indicated, earlier this year the Chinese company released a disaster assistance program to help local police in the United States fight the CCP Virus. As a result, Da Jiang ended up distributing about 100 drones to 45 police, fire, and public safety agencies in 22 states.
As for the bill just announced by McSally, it also seeks to prohibit private, local, and state agencies from spending federal grants to purchase Chinese drones, the agencies would be required to certify that the funds are not being used on drones.
“We should not risk giving China the chance to spy on Americans amid our efforts to combat the coronavirus [CCP Virus]. (…) This is just another part of China’s [CCP’s] ongoing effort to exploit the global pandemic and it is unacceptable,” McSally said.