NZ Police Drone Data Could be Accessed by Beijing: Report

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China-made drones deployed by New Zealand police potentially are potential backdoors for Beijing’s surveillance efforts, according to a recent report. New Zealand’s police force currently carries a fleet of 26 drones, which are used for photographing crime scenes, traffic accidents, and surveillance. The company behind the drones is Da Jiang Innovations (DJI), a Chinese technology firm that accounts for 70 percent of the world’s drone market. In 2017, the U.S. armed forces issued warnings to discourage the use of DJI products, while the Australian and New Zealand Defence Forces have adopted similar precautions. The Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems Proof of Concept—Evaluation Report, released under the Official Information Act (OIA) in NZ, found that “An internet-connected [drone] could send data to a server located in China, and firmware updates could compromise the integrity of the [drone] and any police systems to which it is connected.” However, the 96-page report said these …

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