Secret Service, FBI purchase drones from company with possible ties to Chinese Communist Party

WASHINGTON, DC- What could possibly go wrong?

Axios reports that the Biden administration is purchasing surveillance drones manufactured by a Chinese company which the Pentagon has previously designated a potential national security threat. Seriously.

Axios noted that the federal government is exposing itself to spying by the Chinese even as efforts have been undertaken to ensure that military, intelligence and law enforcement agencies are protected from Chinese technology which has been potentially compromised and a source of spying by the communist nation.

They report that efforts to do so have been sidelined by “bureaucratic red tape.”

According to the report, the U.S. Secret Service (yes, the agency that protects the president and other government officials) purchased eight surveillance drones from DJI, a company based in Shenzen which is one of the prominent commercial drone producers in the U.S. market, as well as other countries.

That purchase was made on July 26, according to procurement records obtained by an industry publication, IPVM and shared with Axios.

That purchase came only three days after the defense department issued a statement in which they noted DJI products “pose potential threats to national security.”

In that notification, the DoD noted that a recent report had been released (from source which is not named) in which: “certain models of DJI systems had been found to be approved for procurement and operations for US government departments and agencies. This report was inaccurate and uncoordinated, and its unauthorized release is currently under review by the department.” [emphasis added]

Further, Axios reported that the FBI purchased 19 DJI drones only a few days earlier from a company called Adorama in New York City, which happens to be in the congressional district of Carolyn Maloney (D), according to a contract summary.

 The drones manufactured by DJI are popular in both the personal and commercial spaces, users are also required to “download proprietary DJI software, and to fly using mapping databases that have the potential to be monitored remotely,” Axios wrote.

Despite the security concerns surrounding their products, DJI insists that such concerns are “unfounded” and based on “misunderstanding or misrepresentation of its technology.”

Axios further reported that in 2017, the Department of Homeland Security, under which the Secret Service falls, said with “moderate confidence” that the company was “providing U.S. critical infrastructure and law enforcement data to the Chinese government.”

Two years later, the Department of the Interior which uses the same products “grounded its entire non-emergency drone fleet” due to concerns over possible involvement by the Chinese government.

Furthermore, last year the Commerce Department added DJI to an “export blacklist” after it was reported by Bloomberg that DJI had given surveillance technology to Chinese security forces in Xinjiang Province, where Muslim Uighurs have been forced into slavery in internment camps.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R) slammed the government for the purchase of DJI drones given their ties to the Chinese Communist Party.

“Given everything we know about the Chinese Communist Party and its companies, there is absolutely no excuse for any government agency to use DJI drones, or any other drones manufactured in countries identified as national security threats,” he wrote in a statement.

“DJI’s cyber security vulnerabilities are well documented.”

A company spokesman disputed allegations the company’s data insecure or has been compromised to Chinese communist officials.

“Claims that somehow DJI products are transmitting customer data back to China, or to DJI, or anywhere they’re not supposed to be…are just false,” Adam Lisberg told Axios.

“No one has ever found a deliberate attempt to steal data, or any of the other fantasies promoted by some of our critics. It simply isn’t true,” he said.

Axios reached out to both the Secret Service and the FBI, both of which refused to comment, with the Secret Service citing “operational security.”

Over recent years, some lawmakers have taken measures to crack down on the purchase of Chinese technology in particular in the telecommunications and surveillance spaces, with the most prominent case involving telecom and consumer electronics conglomerate Huawei Technologies.

However action toward phasing out Chinese technology have been hindered due to “bureaucratic constraints and the cost and complexity of replacing the systems,” Axios said.

Some sources whom Axios contacted said it is possible the purchases were made as a means of obtaining counterintelligence on the systems, noting that contained within the Pentagon ban on purchases of off the shelf Chinese drones makes exceptions for purchases designed to drill down on countermeasures.

However the language contained within both the FBI and Secret Service drone purchases seems to possibly debunk that theory, with the Secret Service, for example noting that the DJI drones will “supplement the agency’s existing fleet of small unmanned aircraft and improved [sic] mission support though the use of the most up-to-date equipment nd [sic] software.”

In the case of the FBI, they said the DJI Phantom 4 Pro model was “the only commercially available consumer [drone] to combine all [its required] capabilities at an acceptable cost.”

“If the federal government is purchasing DJI drones for counter-drone or other security research, fine,” said Klon Kitchen, a defense and cybersecurity expert at the American Enterprise Institute told Axios in an email.

“But otherwise, in a world where you have plenty of alternatives—including some U.S. alternatives that are very good—why would federal agencies assume the inherent risks of Chinese-made systems?”

Perhaps we should see if Hunter Biden has investments in DJI? That might answer the question.

Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters?  Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you.  Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories.  Click to check it out.

LET Unity

Of course, the Chinese communists are not only involved with technology, with one Chinese spy being involved with a sitting US member of Congress, Eric Swalwell. For more on that, we invite you to:

DIG DEEPER

TEXAS – We at Law Enforcement Today recently reported on the unveiled controversy revolving around Rep. Eric Swalwell was reportedly involved with a suspected Chinese spy some years back. 

While the controversy surrounding that matter is a story all on it’s own (more on that below), Senator Ted Cruz seemingly couldn’t help himself from making a bit of a pun regarding the debacle. 

And by pun, Senator Cruz decided to speculate on the nature of the Communist Chinese spy and Swalwell’s intermingling: 

“More than once, I’ve said “screw the Chinese communists.” Little did I know how closely Swalwell was listening.”

Now, in the interest of reporting verifiable facts, it is unclear whether Swalwell was involved romantically with the alleged espionage operative known as Christine Fang.

But, what can be said is that Swalwell’s own camp admitted that he and Fang knew each other since around 2012 – before he ever held public office. Fang even helped raise funds for Swalwell’s 2014 reelection efforts. 

And Fang even had helped place one intern into Swalwell’s office and mingled with the Representative up until around 2015. 

Plus, pictures of Fang show that she wasn’t exactly unattractive by conventional standards – in fact, most would likely agree that she’d rather easy on the eyes. 

And Swalwell didn’t get married to his current wife until 2016, after the FBI informed him of their concerns over Fang. 

 From there, one would have to speculate on what an attractive young woman – with an alleged agenda for the CCP to gather intel – and a young man might do when harboring said entanglements. 

But with Cruz’s joking speculation came some criticism, which is not all that surprising. 

One commenter responded to Cruz’s post, writing: 

“You sound more and more like Trump every day. To think I used to be so naïve as to believe you were one of the classier ones. You were right when you said he was evil, and now you’re acting just like him, maybe even worse.”

To which a particular writer from LET responded with: 

“Jokes aside, Swalwell managed to be entangled with Fang before he got into office, let her raise funds for him in 2014 and took in a staffer she suggested – all before he got married in 2016. I’m pretty dang sure he was tapping it as well, let’s be adults and cognizant here.”

As for Swalwell, he recently hinted at The White House possibly airing out his proverbial dirty laundry from years back.

The reason being is that he noted he’s been a vocal critic of President Trump when responding to the criticism over the essentially hushed debacle: 

“I’ve been a critic of the president. I’ve spoken out against him. I was on both committees that worked to impeach him. The timing feels like that should be looked at.”

But the timeline is a little skewed, as Swalwell has been critical of Trump far before the failed impeachment. In fact, he even appeared on MSNBC nearly two years ago accusing of President Trump’s son meeting with a “Russian spy”. 

One cannot but help notice the irony in those accusation, as Swalwell knew at the time of that interview that he’d courted in some fashion or another a literal Chinese spy for years

As mentioned earlier, there’s an awful lot of backstory to this Chinese Spy debacle – and it is well worth the read. 

_

WASHINGTON,D.C.-We at Law Enforcement Today recently reported on how the FBI had briefed Eric Swalwell about him getting a little too close to a suspected Chinese spy back in 2015

During a recent appearance on Fox News, a retired CIA Senior Clandestine Services Officer said that this likely isn’t an isolated matter and suspects there are more Chinese espionage operatives trying to hone in on up-and-coming political figures here in America.

Daniel Hoffman is the former CIA officer who alleged the aforementioned, saying the following: 

“I can say with a high level of confidence that there are many more of these women out there. China’s MO (modus operandi) is to flood the zone.”

The debacle that was recently unveiled pertained to a woman named Christine Fang, also known as Fang Fang, who was said to have operated stateside from 2011 to 2015, essentially functioning as what one might call a “honey trap”. 

For those unfamiliar with the term “honey trap,” many have likely seen the “honey trap” trope used in the likes of films and espionage fiction novels.

Typically “honey traps” involve some sort of operative zeroing in on a target believed to have information or resources beneficial to their respective group, mission, government, and the ilk. The way these “honey traps” get close often is by feigning a romantic interest or relationship. 

Pretty much one of the most used plot elements in the James Bond film series. 

Intelligence experts reportedly can’t detail an exact number of these sort of espionage operatives currently working to compromise individuals stateside, but experts estimate it could range from the hundreds to thousands. 

Experts say these “honey traps” often blend in at some of the country’s top universities, speak flawless English, and will often begin targeting their marks via Facebook and LinkedIn. 

But experts also say that these sort of operatives aren’t just trying to hone in on the proverbial big fish,  some have also been trained to spot and draw in rising talents. 

That was the case with Swalwell.  His office did admit to him and Fang having met “more than eight years ago,” prior to Swalwell having ever been elected to public office.

Yet in 2013, he’d become elected to the House of Representatives.  Fang was said to have even helped fundraise for his reelection efforts. 

Swalwell was said to have cut the relationship with Fang off after purportedly being informed by the FBI of Fang’s suspected ties with China.

While the exact nature of their relationship wasn’t divulged, apparently it was alarming enough for the FBI to deliver Swalwell a defensive briefing. 

Hoffman further explained what type of information a “honey trap” would be interested in when closing in on someone about to rise into the political ranks in America: 

“The goal is to become a trusted individual with who can share information. The spy here would have wanted to learn everything she could about his personality, every little detail of his leadership style to build a profile.

“The idea here is to latch on to someone like a Swalwell when they are a junior and make contacts. It is much harder to do that when someone is already big and well-known. [Fang] recognized that.”

Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters?  Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you.  Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories.  Click to check it out.

LET Unity

From what Hoffman detailed, these sort of espionage operatives will use just about anything they can to compromise and effectively place their targets under their proverbial thumb: 

“The goal is to get the target into a compromising position, usually with photos or video evidence of their indiscretions…Once compromised, they are told to cooperate, or else their actions will be disclosed and they’ll be divorced, lose their government clearance and their job, etc.”

Experts say that operatives are also known to not just only close in on their main targets, but also attempt to befriend individuals like aides, junior staffers, and interns of their respective target to gather a more complete profile on their mark. 

A former U.S. intelligence official conveyed under anonymity that while the practice of employing “honey traps” has been “glamorized” by the Russians, it’s the Chinese that have perfected the tactic: 

“The honey trap technique has been glamorized by the Russians over the years, but the Chinese are the ones who have really been stepping up their game.”

This former U.S. intelligence official noted that the Chinese used to work on entrapping the likes of wealthy businessmen, but have since redirected to targeting politicians: 

“It has only been in more recent years that it has been targeted toward the more political side of the house…And it is much easier trapping a politician than a CEO making millions, who has a lot more that money can buy.”

Jamie Williamson, the CEO of Global Executive Management and a former U.S. military counterintelligence specialist, also explained that the “honey traps” aren’t always acting as a spy on their own terms. 

Williamson said that the Chinese often try to find ways to compromise and compel some of their own into operating in these espionage efforts: 

“We don’t always know if they are just doing it for the money, sometimes their families back in China could be threatened. Or they are being targeted in their own blackmail scheme if they don’t deliver.”

When commenting on the recent unveiling of Swalwell’s intermingling with a suspected Chinese spy, Hoffman said that he should be speaking more publicly about it to create better awareness of these sort of “honey traps”: 

“The Chinese have a very ubiquitous presence here and the only way to prevent it is through education and awareness. Instead of saying ‘No comment,’ Swalwell should be doing a public service announcement – warning others to be vigilant.”

_

Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today? With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.

Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing! (See image below.) Thanks for being a part of the LET family!

Facebook Follow First

The post Secret Service, FBI purchase drones from company with possible ties to Chinese Communist Party appeared first on Law Enforcement Today.

Click this link for the original source of this article.
Author: Pat Droney


This content is courtesy of, and owned and copyrighted by, https://www.lawenforcementtoday.com and its author. This content is made available by use of the public RSS feed offered by the host site and is used for educational purposes only. If you are the author or represent the host site and would like this content removed now and in the future, please contact USSANews.com using the email address in the Contact page found in the website menu.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
USSANews.com USSANews.com
A better search engine: DuckDuckGo.com.
Visit our forum at Libertati.com.
Visit our store at TeaPartyGear.com.

Follow us: