Chinese-made drones may be transmitting information to Beijing: Taiwanese experts

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Experts in Taiwan have warned that Chinese-made drones used by the country’s private companies and individuals could be transferring information to Beijing, local media reported. Many countries prohibit the public sector from using Chinese products related to information and communication. Therefore, Taipei should consider cooperating with NGOs to regularly test Chinese products and share the results with the public, Taiwan News quoted Su Tzu-yun, director of the National Defense and Security Research Institute as saying.

In the past, xiaomi, huaweiY ZTE mobile phones, as well as DJI All drones have been found to have data transmission software settings in their firmware, Su said.

Therefore, the US National Defense Authorization Act of 2020 restricted the federal government from acquiring dronesaccording to Taiwan News.

Chinese citizens and businesses have an obligation to support, assist and cooperate in national intelligence operations under Article 14 of China’s National Intelligence Law, Taiwan’s National Communications Commission said.

Regarding the rule, whenever Beijing asks Chinese manufacturers to provide relevant information, they cannot refuse. When Chinese drones are used by private companies or individuals, relevant images and other important data may be sent to Chinese manufacturers, which may then be sent to Chinese government authorities, according to Taiwan News.

“Theoretically, Chinese-made drones should be completely banned,” said Li Chung-hsien, a professor at the Department of Electrical Engineering at National Cheng Kung University.

But Li said Taiwan does not have a “scorched earth” approach to this issue. However, he argued that it is necessary for the relevant authorities to verify the functions of Chinese drones and make comprehensive regulations, unlike the current ones that only regulate flight safety.


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