Sen. Rick Scott and Rep. Stefanik Lead Legislation to Counter Chinese Drones

February 3, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senators Rick Scott, Marco Rubio and Tom Cotton introduced the Countering CCP Drones Act to add Communist Chinese drone company Da-Jiang Innovations (DJI) to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Covered List which identifies telecommunication equipment that poses an unacceptable risk to the national security of the United States. All companies in Communist China are required to comply with government orders to conduct and assist in espionage activities, which poses a clear threat to America’s national security. Earlier this week, the Washington Post confirmed that the Communist Chinese government is an investor in DJI, which supplies 50% of drones sold in the U.S., directly contradicting DJI’s prior public statements. Congresswoman Elise Stefanik introduced the companion legislation in the House of Representatives this week.


Senator Rick Scott said, “Communist China funds technology, like drones made by DJI, to spy on Americans and steal their data. The United States Government should under no circumstance purchase drones made in Communist China and put our national security at risk and that’s why my colleagues and I introduced the American Security Drone Act. The Countering CCP Drones Act is the next step to ensure that federal funds from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) cannot be used to obtain communications equipment and services produced or provided by DJI. I’m proud to introduce this important bill in the Senate and urge my colleagues to join me in support.”


Senator Marco Rubio said, “Chinese drone-maker DJI has repeatedly lied about its links to the Chinese Communist Party while collecting vast quantities of Americans’ data. The FCC should act immediately to further ban DJI by adding it to its Covered List.”


Senator Tom Cotton said, “Chinese companies are beholden to the Chinese Communist Party. DJI can’t be trusted—we shouldn’t allow its equipment to be used alongside American communications technology.”


Congresswoman Elise Stefanik said, “DJI drones pose the national security threat of Huawei, but with wings. The possibility that DJI drones could be equipped to send live imagery of military installations, critical infrastructure, and the personal lives of American citizens to China poses too great a threat. Allowing this practice to continue in the U.S. is playing with fire. This Chinese-controlled company cannot be allowed to continue to operate in the U.S.”


Commissioner Brendan Carr, Federal Communications Commission, said, “DJI drones and the surveillance technology on board these systems are collecting vast amounts of sensitive data—everything from high-resolution images of critical U.S. infrastructure to facial recognition technology and remote sensors that can measure an individual’s body temperature and heart rate. Indeed, U.S. intelligence services have warned that DJI poses a serious national security threat due to the level of sensitive information it collects and the potential for Beijing to access that data. Despite mounting evidence, the U.S. has lacked a consistent and comprehensive approach to addressing the potential threats posed by a company that might be operating as a Huawei on wings. That would end by passing the Countering CCP Drones Act. So I applaud Senator Scott and Congresswoman Stefanik for their strong leadership and their work to advance America’s national security in light of the threats posed by Communist China. Their legislation is a vital step towards ensuring that Americans’ sensitive data do not fall into the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”