The Chinese firm was subject of US ban because of cybersecurity concerns
According to the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong’s elite police squads have been testing thermal drones made by the Chinese company that recently had its equipment banned by the US military over cybersecurity concerns, according to sources.
The drones, made by DJI, the world’s largest manufacturer of unmanned aircraft vehicles, were under consideration for anti-crime and antiterrorism operations, senior police sources told the Post. But they would not be used for surveillance at rallies or protests.
“Besides using it to fight against terrorism, the infrared night vision can help locate culprits, such as illegal immigrants, burglars and abductors, hiding in mountains or dim public areas,” one source said.
DJI was the subject of controversy last month after a US army memo ordered all soldiers to stop using equipment made by the company because of an unspecified security risk.
The ban also prompted Australia’s defence department to suspend using drones of the same brand for two weeks. The drones were back in use after the Australian military revised operating procedures.
Hong Kong police bought the drones before the US ban and elite units have been conducting trial runs in their headquarters in Fanling. The drone model, which is equipped with infrared sensors and cameras that capture high-quality contrasting images that can read body temperatures, is not listed on DJI’s website and is not available to the public. Continue reading about thermal DJI drones.