Skip to comments.Congress Demands Drones Over America
Posted on 02/10/2012 8:42:52 PM PST by lbryce
Congress is demanding drones in the air over the United States - without considering the civil liberties issues. Within the span of three days last week, the House and then the Senate passed a law - H.R. 658 - requiring the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to speed up, within 90 days, its current licensing process for government use of drones domestically and to open the national airspace to drone aircraft for commercial and private use by October 2015. While the law requires the FAA to develop guidance on drone safety, the law says absolutely nothing about the privacy or transparency implications of filling the sky with flying robots.
As CDT and others have pointed out, drones are powerful surveillance devices capable of being outfitted with facial recognition cameras, license plate scanners, thermal imaging cameras, open WiFi sniffers, and other sensors. Drones' unique ability to hover hundreds or thousands of feet in the air - undetected, for many hours - enables constant, pervasive monitoring over a wide area. Without clear privacy rules, public and private use of drones can usher in an era of unparalleled physical surveillance. Without transparency requirements, citizens will not even have the basic right to know who owns the drone watching them from above. Congress, the FAA, industry bodies, and the American people all should play a role in ensuring that drones are used responsibly.
Congress missed a major opportunity to build civil liberties protections into H.R. 658. Instead, Congress fast-tracked the bill, ordering the FAA to unleash drones without even requesting a study or holding a hearing on the civil liberties implications of domestic drone deployment. Perhaps indignant hearings are inevitable, however, once hours of embarrassing drone footage hits YouTube.
(Excerpt) Read more at aviationpros.com ...
ping for later reading
I’m just curious, how old are you?
kind of wondered that myslef- reading that midless school boy drivel
Did you fall down?
The "Enemy of the State" concerns are a bit unfounded. There are already plenty of laws covering the uses of airborne cameras, FLIR, and electronic eavesdropping. We are actually on a good trend with the judiciary since the SCOTUS ruled against warrantless deployment of GPS trackers.
The Jap Arisaka 6.5 mm T-38 rear sight had fold down extensions on each side. It made the rifle an antiaircraft weapon, depending on which way the target was moving. -end- history lesson.
Is there any reason non-drone aircraft can’t do this now?
Another quizzical problem for the Court. Is it OK to watch something on the ground robotically with the same resolution that, say, a human in a zeppelin would have with the naked eye?
It was completely useless for that, though.
Well, these are a little scary...
They forgot to mention that it’s our civil right to be spied upon.
Are these drones bulletproof?
If the spy drones collecting data are owned operated by private companies, not the government, they are not violating the letter of the Constitution. The government can purchase information collected by private firms.
Consider the amount of personal data collected by private companies today. Also the pictures of private property on Google Earth and other websites, collected without the permission of the owners. Not to mention the private and publicly owned security cameras proliferating in public and private spaces. In our high technology world, privacy is becoming very rare.
Yes - the same way our education system exploits and damages young minds...
If it comes to this I would ask Iranians how to shoot them down.
You do bring up a really good point to ponder on the remote control aspect. The last SCOTUS case on GPS trackers said you had to have a warrant to place a tracker, but it seemed to be based on the invasion of privacy by placing a device on somebody's car. Most of the legal precedence on surveillance is related to the concept that what the police are viewing is in open view of the public. The question would be whether the courts view a UAS as enhancing a surveillance or relieving law enforcement of the work required to conduct the surveillance.
The driving force behind this bill isn't domestic work in the first place. The issue is that UAVs have been around for a decade and the FAA hasn't budged much on the restrictions for their use. DHS bought Predator B's for work on the border and have for the most part been locked on specific tracks. To deploy a UAS, even for a natural disaster requires a lot of work with the FAA. DHS wants greater access to the border areas and the ability to fly their unmanned aircraft to sites where they need them like a regular airplane. The FAA is a pain, but DHS jumped the gun by at least 7-10 years on UAS.
You could build your own personal drone and add the necessary self-defense arms to engage in a dog fight with any pesky spy drones flying over you.
DIY Spy Drone