As part of the U.S. military’s effort to provide infantry personnel with new surveillance tools, branches like the Marines Corps planned to give every infantry squad small drones. But the Pentagon has began grounding some quadcopters which may present cybersecurity concerns.
In May, the Department of Defense began issuing memos to stop certain branches from purchasing drones, saying the agency didn’t have an adequate way to test whether the tech posed a cybersecurity risk. Some of the most popular drones currently used by the U.S. military are Chinese-made, and officials worried they could be installed with malware that would allow users to be spied on.
The ban has affected some branches more heavily than others. The Marines were forced to ground 600 drones after the memo came out and had to stop shipment of an additional 200. The Air Force was forced to suspend using about 70