WASHINGTON, D.C.— The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held a hearing on Wednesday, January 15, 2014, at 2:30 p.m. to examine the growth of unmanned aerial systems (UAS), commonly referred to as “drones”, in the United States, including the potential economic benefits of drone operations, and the progress of steps taken to facilitate the development of the industry through the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-95). The hearing included consideration of safety and privacy issues surrounding the operation of drones in the United States.
Watch the video of the hearing here.
Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV
U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
- The Honorable Michael Huerta
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
- Dr. Missy Cummings
Director, Humans and Autonomy Laboratory
Duke Institute for Brain Sciences, Duke University
- Mr. Henio Arcangeli
Vice President, Corporate Planning & New Business Development
Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA
- Mr. Chris Calabrese
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
by Kelsey Atherton, Pop Sci, March 6, 2013
Yesterday morning, an Alitalia pilot reported seeing a remote-controlled aircraft near New York’s JFK airport, where he was landing. The drone was flying about 4 to 5 miles west of the airport at an altitude of about 1,750 feet, and it came within just 200 feet of the Alitalia plane, the pilot said. … But was it legal?
…Law is slow to catch up to new technology, so drones are not currently regulated in U.S. air space. The FAA is in the process of picking drone-testing sites, which will be used to help develop domestic drone rules. Until then, unmanned aircraft are governed by model airplane rules, and model airplane rules are pretty lax….
For full text of this article, please visit A Drone Flew Within 200 Feet Of A Commercial Jet. How Legal Was It? | Popular Science.
By Christopher Rees and Kevin Madders, BBC News, 28 February 2013
Since the issues are transnational, we’ve proposed the development of an international Geo-information Convention.Its aim is to be technology-neutral, so that it is future-proof enough also to cover new systems like hyper spectral sensors reminiscent of Star Trek and drones with privacy implications reminiscent of 1984.Continue reading the main story “Start Quote What limits should we put on use of its power?”The essential questions are: how do we make geoinformation reliable enough for the particular applications for which it is to be used, and what limits should we put on use of its power?Work on these difficult questions has already begun through the International Bar Association.
For full text of this op-ed, visit BBC News – Viewpoint: We need ground rules for geo-information.
Thank you to Adena Schutzberg (@adenas) for passing this along.
- We need ground rules for geo-information (bbc.co.uk)
by Kit Eaton, Fast Company, Feb 18, 2013
New draft legislation in the House of Representatives is attempting to restrict the private use of drones, making it a misdemeanor to use a UAV to photograph a person or their property without their explicit permission. Public space use would be equally limited, according to the “Preserving American Privacy Act of 2013” (PDF), requiring a max altitude of just six feet. Law enforcement bodies would have to obtain a warrant or court order to be able collect information on individuals in a private area. …
For full text of the article, visit Lawmakers Target Drones With “Preserving American Privacy Act Of 2013” | Fast Company.
- Lawmakers Target Drones With “Preserving American Privacy Act Of 2013” (fastcompany.com)
- Congressional Hearing Highlights Lack of Domestic Drone Rules (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
- Drones a target of U.S. House bill (computerworld.co.nz)
by Kelsey Atherton, Popular Science, February 15, 2013
…most Americans are not terribly fond of the idea of their neighbors flying cameras around and taking pictures of them in their backyards. The problem is that, right now, there is no explicit federal guidance prohibiting this. … according to testimony by Dr. Gerald Dillingham, civilian drones are governed by the same rules that apply to model aircraft–which is basically no rules at all. … Dr. Dillingham, director of civil aviation issues in the Government Accountability Office, testified that while the Federal Aviation Administration has a clear safety mandate, it doesn’t have one for privacy. So it would fall to Congress to decide which governmental body–the FAA or some other organization–should draw up privacy regulations. ….
For full text of this article, please visit Congressional Hearing Offers A Sneak Peek At The Future Of Domestic Drone Rules | Popular Science.
by Rebecca Boyle, POPSCI, February 12, 2013
On a hazy day last January, an unmanned aircraft enthusiast piloted his camera-equipped drone in the vicinity of a Dallas meatpacking plant, cruising around 400 feet in the air. To test his equipment, he took some photos of the Trinity River with a point-and-shoot camera mounted to his $75 foam airframe. When he retrieved the remote-controlled aircraft, he noticed something odd in the photos: A crimson stream, which appeared to be blood, leaking into a river tributary. …On Dec. 26, a grand jury handed down several indictments against the owners of the Columbia Packing Company for dumping pig blood into a creek. … Under a new law proposed in the Texas legislature, sponsored by a lawmaker from the Dallas suburbs, this type of activity could soon be criminal. …
Texas House Bill 912–and similar laws under debate right now in Oregon and elsewhere–are driving a burgeoning debate about how to use and control unmanned air systems, from an AR.Drone to a quadcopter. The Federal Aviation Administration is in the process of drafting new rules governing unmanned aircraft in civilian airspace, including military-style aircraft. But in the meantime, plenty of cheap, easy-to-use aircraft are already popular among hobbyists and, increasingly, activists and law enforcement.
For full text of the article Even Hobby Drones Could Be Made Illegal In Texas | Popular Science.
- Meet Your Neighborhood Drones (blogs.sfweekly.com)
- The Lone Star State Has No Need for These Picture-Taking, Privacy-Invading Drones (betabeat.com)
- Some Worried “Eyes In The Sky” See More Than They’re Supposed To (baltimore.cbslocal.com)
- From Predators to tacocopters: welcome to the future (abc.net.au)
- Some states seek to curb use of drones by police (cbsnews.com)
by Jason Koebler, US News & World Report, Feb 5, 2012
The Virginia General Assembly passed a bill Tuesday that will put a two-year moratorium on the use of drones by state and local law enforcement. If signed by Gov. Bob McDonnell, Virginia will become the first state in the U.S. to enact drone regulations. Virginia House Bill 2012 easily passed Monday by a vote of 83-16 and its companion, Senate Bill 1331, passed Tuesday by a vote of 36-2.
For full text of the article, visit Virginia Becomes First State to Pass Drone Regulations – US News and World Report.
USA Today, February 7, 2013
SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle’s mayor on Thursday ordered the police department to abandon its plan to use drones after residents and privacy advocates protested. Mayor Mike McGinn said the department will not use two small drones it obtained through a federal grant….The decision comes as the debate over drones heats up across the country. Lawmakers in at least 11 states are looking at plans to restrict the use of drones over their skies amid concerns the vehicles could be exploited to spy on Americans.
For full text of the article, visit Seattle mayor ends police drone efforts.
- Seattle mayor ends police drone efforts (seattletimes.com)
- 5 Homeland Security Bots Coming To Spy on You (If They Aren’t Already) (Wired.com)
by Jake Ellison, SeattlePI.com, February 4, 2012
Weighing in at 16 grams and capable of performing in “harsh environments and windy conditions” a tiny drone unveiled by the British government today shows just how quickly drone technology and use is developing.“The Black Hornet is equipped with a tiny camera which gives troops reliable full-motion video and still images. Soldiers are using it to peer around corners or over walls and other obstacles to identify any hidden dangers and the images are displayed on a handheld terminal,” the British government wrote. And as the Seattle Police Department, like many others in the nation, becomes eager to use drones as part of their police work, Seattle Councilman Bruce Harrell jumped into the fray this afternoon with proposed legislation to rein in drone use.
For full text and copy of the proposed rules visit Drones get really tiny; new rules proposed for Seattle – seattlepi.com.
- From the start, SPD’s drones have come under fire (q13fox.com)
By Steve Aftergood, Secrecy News, January 31, 2013
The development of unmanned aerial systems (or drones) for military and civilian applications appears to be accelerating faster than the normal policy process can adapt to it. Aside from festering doubts about the legality, propriety and wisdom of their routine use in targeted killing operations, drone programs are beset by budgetary confusion, and a host of privacy and other legal problems are poised to emerge with the expanded use of drones in domestic airspace. … Meanwhile, “Perhaps the most contentious issue concerning the introduction of drones into U.S. airspace is the threat that this technology will be used to spy on American citizens,” said a new report from the Congressional Research Service.
For full text of the article visit Secrecy News here.
A copy of the CRS report was obtained by Secrecy News. See Integration of Drones into Domestic Airspace: Selected Legal Issues, January 30, 2013.
See also Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS): Manufacturing Trends, January 30, 2013.
- Drones spur fierce debate in Oregon over privacy, technology, jobs (oregonlive.com)
- Drone Home (time.com)
- MPAA Lobbying For Drones In Movie Industry (fastcompany.com)
- imabonehead: NOVA | Rise of the Drones (pbs.org)