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article imageDrones to get 'stealth' mode because of cyber-vulnerabilities

By Karen Graham     Aug 17, 2017 in Technology
DJI, the world's largest drone maker, is developing a "stealth" mode for its drones so they can fly without transmitting data over the Internet. The news comes just weeks after the US Army prohibited their use over cyber-security concerns.
CNET is reporting that a leaked memo issued two weeks ago, and confirmed by several officials, said the U.S. Army is pulling DJI drones because they believe DJI's products have "cyber vulnerabilities," deciding to ban them all.
The August 2 memo, attributed to Lt. Gen. Joseph H. Anderson, the Army deputy chief of staff for operations and plans, reads: "Cease all use, uninstall all DJI applications, remove all batteries/storage media from devices, and secure equipment for follow on direction."
Chinese drone manufacturer, DJI holds 70 percent of the market share globally. The ban came as a surprise to company officials who say they were never consulted. "Despite our attempts both formal and informal, we've never heard from the Army what their objections might be," DJI communication director Adam Lisberg tells CNET. "We're as stumped by the Army's actions as you are."
Drones like this DJI Phantom are being used by ISIS because they are readily available commercially.
Drones like this DJI Phantom are being used by ISIS because they are readily available commercially.
DJI introduces new "Local Data Mode"
On Monday, reports GeoAwesomeness, DJI announced it was rolling out a new feature called "Local Data Mode," aimed at the small but growing business market. The new feature is expected to be out by the end of next month.
“We are creating a local data mode to address the needs of our enterprise customers, including public and private organizations that are using DJI technology to perform sensitive operations around the world,” said Brendan Schulman, vice-president of policy and legal affairs.
What does this mean? The new app will disconnect the drone from the Internet during flights. This means that DJI, with servers in the US, China, and Hong Kong will not be able to receive flight information, photos or videos from the drone while it's in operation.
The U.S. Army has not been the only group requesting something be done about the privacy issue. DJI has received requests from many people, including a number of businesses calling for a fix so that data could be kept private.
More about Drones, stealth mode, Us army, cybervulnerabilities, DJI
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