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Dept. of Interior Grounds All Drones Due to Cybersecurity Concerns

The secretary of the Interior issued an order January 29, 2020 grounding all non-emergency #drones so that the department can assess potential cybersecurity concerns before operating the devices any further. The temporary move “is intended to better ensure the cybersecurity and supply of American technology of unmanned aircraft systems,” according to the order.


Part of the DOI’s concern is that information on American energy, transportation, and defense infrastructure collected by the department's drones “has the potential to be valuable to foreign entities, organizations, and governments,” the order says. While Interior grounded a fleet of approximately 800 Chinese-made drones last October, this order is intended to formalize and expand that grounding, a senior Interior official said.


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