“Packets of data are going to China!” via DJI drones
The method –
You brought to market a new technology that helps consumers do a cool new style of photography. What if you could incidentally enlist a global cadre of beta testers to pay you for the privilege to reconnoitre a foreign country, entity or government? These have been sold all over the world and with the right combination of vulnerabilities could be used to collect georeferenced data whenever you want it? Shrewder still would be the same company’s representatives and lobbyists influencing the world’s foremost Civil Aviation Authority (FAA) to make this data collection system mandatory under the guise of safety? Just look at the geofencing notion going hand in hand with the global implementation of a UTM for a relatively low number of commercial operators. These guys have themselves lathered up on an Amazon or Google business model. Does it make dollars and sense for the small commercial end-user?
I must preface this entry with the disclaimer that most of it is postulating on my part. It is meant as food for thought on possible motives for why a company would voluntarily launch a haphazardly designed and untested system that ultimately serves to limit their product viability. Another notable mention would be that I had started working on this during the “lingering conspiracy theory” lull prior to the U.S. Army FOUO announcement pertaining to DJI products storm.
The Australian Defense Force has issued a statement, and I am sure other countries will follow suit. The awkward public plea made by DJI spokespeople for military officials to contact them with assurances that their classified data is safe is obtuse. Especially since the big ICAO monitoring announcement and with the data that is already available to them. Others in the oil and gas, major league sports, mining and a host of other mega-billion dollar industries apparently don’t want to share their secret sauce either. They have credibility issues that partnering with Mother Teresa couldn’t solve.