Susan E. Upward


The skies above America have been increasingly inundated with small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) operated by both government agencies and civilians alike. The majority of these drones are manufactured by Da-Jiang Innovations (DJI), a Chinese company that continues to emerge as a national security threat. The risk posed by these drones stems not only from physical access to American airspace, but also from the surreptitious transmittal of information back behind the “Great Firewall of China” via DJI mobile device applications. However, current pending legislation is inadequate to effectively counter this threat. Instead, the United States should take a more comprehensive approach – use existing laws to deny DJI access to U.S. airspace, develop new legislation to curtail access to sensitive information in cyberspace, and take measures to counter consumer reliance on foreign sUAS by investing in the American drone manufacturing industry.