Technology

ISIS will no longer be able to use DJI drones as weapons in most of Iraq and Syria

For months, ISIS has reportedly been outfitting drones with bombs and other weapons in order to wreak havoc from the sky. DJI, the world’s largest dronemaker, has now tried to do something about it.

The Shenzhen, China-based company quietly introduced no-fly zones over large swaths of Syria and Iraq toward the end of February, which prevent the operation of DJI drones in those areas, many of which are contested by ISIS. DJI already operates similar no-fly zones near airports and military installations, which can be viewed on the company’s website. The Register first reported the news.

Because DJI accounts for the largest number of drones sold in all price ranges worldwide, it’s the company mentioned most often in press coverage on weaponized drones. Last fall, DJI said in a statement that it “is ready to provide whatever technical assistance we can to those investigating this and other attacks.”

In an emailed statement, DJI spokeswoman Dr. Barbara Stelzner did not say whether DJI was asked to erect no-fly zones in Syria and Iraq in order to combat ISIS; on DJI’s maps, the zones are designated as “special areas.”

“Our geofencing system is designed to advise pilots of airspace restrictions, and was never intended to enforce laws or thwart people who want to misuse our products,” Stelzner said.

“Certain areas vital for aviation safety or national security are marked as restricted in our geofencing system, and we are constantly adjusting those areas to account for temporary conditions that create special restrictions, such as wildfires and major public events.”

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