Hundreds of Chinese Drones Detected In Restricted Airspace Over D.C.

This picture taken on May 12, 2015 shows an unmanned drone aircraft being tested during a campaign for disaster prevention and reduction in Beijing.  China forbids any flights, manned or unmanned, without prior approval from the air force, civil aviation authorities and the local air traffic control bureau.          CHINA OUT  --  AFP PHOTO        (Photo credit should read STR/AFP via Getty Images)

At a glance

  • Hundreds of Chinese-manufactured drones have been detected in restricted airspace over Washington, D.C., in recent months, a trend that national security agencies fear could become a new means for foreign espionage.
  • The recreational drones made by Chinese company DJI, which are designed with “geofencing” restrictions to keep them out of sensitive locations, are being manipulated by users with simple workarounds to fly over no-go zones around the nation’s capital.
  • Hundreds of Chinese-manufactured drones have been detected in restricted airspace over Washington, D.C., in recent months, a trend that national security agencies fear could become a new means for foreign espionage.
  • The recreational drones made by Chinese company DJI, which are designed with “geofencing” restrictions to keep them out of sensitive locations, are being manipulated by users with simple workarounds to fly over no-go zones around the nation’s capital.
  • Federal officials and drone industry experts have delivered classified briefings to the Senate Homeland Security, Commerce and Intelligence committees on the development, three people privy to the meetings said. A spokesperson for the Intelligence Committee — which has been kept closely apprised of the counterintelligence risks — declined to comment on the briefings. The other two committees did not respond.

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