The US Interior Department said on Wednesday that it is grounding all drones made in China or containing China-made parts on fears of espionage and cyberattacks, Bloomberg reported, a move which effectively pulls from the field its entire fleet pending an agency review.
Why it matters: The grounding is the latest in a flurry of US decisions to shun industry-leading Chinese tech companies citing national security concerns.
Details: The government agency responsible for managing all federal land, the Interior Department is concerned that the drones could be used to send classified information, mainly videos and photos, of sensitive US infrastructure that could later be attacked, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The department manages 810 drones, 15% of which were made by Chinese drone giant DJI.
The rest are made in China either entirely or in part, Bloomberg quoted a department spokeswoman saying.
While the agency conducts the security review, non-essential drones will be grounded except those used for emergencies, such as fighting wildfires and search and rescue efforts.