President Joe Biden has reportedly ignored warnings from the Pentagon about cybersecurity as pertains to Chinese-made drones and drone parts, according to a report in The Washington Times.
The administration has decided to move forward with the purchase of the materials, despite an explicit warning from some of the nation’s
highest ranking security officers.
According to the Times, they reviewed documents that outlined the purchase of eight commercial surveillance drones by the Secret Service that are manufactured by Chinese drone-making giant Da Jiang Innovations (DJI) despite the Pentagon’s warning.
The Secret Service has declined to comment on the purchases when questioned about the security of using the potentially compromised parts, however, the purchase order has caused concern on the part of Republican lawmakers.
GOP members are questioning whether the Secret Service is still functioning in the property capacity, due to its decision to sue equipment from problematic Chinese companies.
“It also has triggered concern among government watchdogs,” The Examiner reported. “Purchasing blacklisted technology from China is a ‘potential weak point’ for any agency of the federal government, said Donald Maye, head of operations at the video surveillance research company IPVM, which obtained the government procurement documents showing the Secret Service paid $12,792 for the DJI drones on July 26.”
Despite these concerns, however, the purchase was approved by the Department of Homeland Security and made just days after a statement from the Pentagon which specifically targeted warning that DJI drones “pose potential threats to national security.
“The fact that DoD was forthcoming in July to reaffirm that they posed a national security threat, I think, was quite telling, which is why I found it pretty alarming that the United States Secret Service had purchased several drones from DJI,” Mr. Maye said in an interview on Tuesday.
Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe voiced his concerns about the Biden administration’s entire attitude toward China, highlighting the drones as cause for concern when he said, “The Biden administration, through the FBI and Secret Service, purchased from DJI, which is a company that the Trump administration actually flagged in 2017. Department of Homeland Security said that that specific company was using its drones for the purpose of providing information on U.S. critical infrastructure to the Chinese Communist Party. And that was moderate confidence that that was taking place, which is why our administration took all of those out and basically advanced a policy where we wouldn’t use that Chinese technology.”