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)
By Eric Limer, Gizmodo, December 31, 2012
… Drones are in ever-wider use by the military, and some day they might deliver you food, but it looks like they’ll also be the private, flying-camera spies for private companies too. That’s what Japanese security company Secom is banking on with its new private security quadrotor.
Billed as the first security drone intended for private security firms, Secom’s upcoming drone is a customized Ascending Technologies quadrotor outfitted to spot and follow ne’er-do-wells like nosy, mobile security cameras. The drones will have the ability to track suspects with lasers, and know better than to rush into melee range. They won’t be making their actual debut until 2014, at which point they can be rented for £36 [~$58] per month.
For full text of the article, please visit Oh God, Here Come the Private Security Drones | Gizmodo UK.
By Andrew Marra, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer, December 31, 2012
It’s not so hard anymore to imagine unmanned police drones patrolling South Florida’s skies. In Miami-Dade County, they already do.For the past few years, the Miami-Dade Police Department has been using drones to patrol the Everglades, setting a low-key but vaguely troubling precedent for the rest of Florida. Most famous as a tool for targeting and killing suspected terrorists in faraway lands, unmanned drones are quickly attracting interest from police departments around the country.
Alarmed by this, state Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, has filed a bill in the Legislature that would ban Florida’s police departments from using drones in nearly all instances, with an exception for people identified by the federal government as terrorism suspects. The senator is rightly concerned about drones’ ability to encroach on citizens’ right to privacy in their homes and neighborhoods.
For full text of this editorial, please visit Editorial: Next privacy issue for Florida? Police drones | www.palmbeachpost.com.
- Oregon Army National Guard and others plans to launch drones from public airport (EndtheLie.com)
- Govt. Testing Spy Drones Over the Homeland, Getting Americans Accustomed To New Layer of Surveillance (therearenosunglasses.wordpress.com)
- Drones raise fears of spies in skies (kansascity.com)
- Ala. Police Chief Shocked to Find Out His Dept. Owns Drones (dronesalert.wordpress.com)
- Drones, Phones and Other 2012 Privacy Threats (cio.com)
Written by Joe Wolverton, II, New American, June 5, 2012
It’s been about a year since a North Dakota man was arrested after a local SWAT team tracked him down using a Predator drone it borrowed from the Department of Homeland Security. Although the story has not been widely reported, Rodney Brossart became one of the first American citizens (if not the first) arrested by local law enforcement with the use of a federally owned drone aerial surveillance vehicle after holding the police at bay for over 16 hours. … As the matter proceeds through the legal system, Bruce Quick, the lawyer representing Brossart, is decrying the “guerilla-like police tactics” used to track and capture his client, as well as the alleged violation of the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unwarranted searches and seizures. While the police admittedly possessed an apparently valid search warrant, Quick asserts that no such judicial go-ahead was sought or obtained for the use of the Predator to track the suspect. Therein lies the constitutional rub.
For full text of the article, visit First American Arrested by Aid of Drone Argues 4th Amendment Violation.
Disclaimer: These links were collected and accessed on April 8, 2012. This list is not intended to be comprehensive, but rather is a short bibliography of recent articles on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV/ sUAV) and drones, with a primary focus on the legal and policy issues surrounding their use within the United States.
FAA LEGISLATION AND REGULATION OF DRONES
- The 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (H.R. 658 ENR; P.L. 112-95), signed Feb. 14, 2012, mandates that drones be fully integrated into American airspace by September 30, 2015. http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:H.R.658: and http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=112&session=2&vote=00015
- Senate Floor Debate of Conference Report on H.R. 658, FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2012, February 6, 2012: http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/SenateSession4969
- Conference Report on H.R. 658, FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2012, Congressional Record Volume 158, Number 16 (February 1, 2012), House of Representatives, Pages H230 – H304, Posted to FAS Website: http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/2012/02/faa-uas.html
- FAA requires government and research organizations to apply for authorization before they can operate a drone. The Operation and Certification of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (SUAS), 76 Fed. Reg. 40,107 (July 7, 2011), available at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-07-07/pdf/2011-15494.pdf#page=16.
- Press Release – FAA asks for Public Input on UAS Test Site Selection, FAA, March 7, 2012: http://www.faa.gov/news/press_releases/news_story.cfm?newsId=13393
- FAA UAS General Information and Webinars: http://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/uas
- Timeline for Rule-making (Geiger 2012): https://www.cdt.org/blogs/harley-geiger/2703drone-countdown
- Drones – Privacy Paradox: Privacy and Its Conflicting Values (Video), 2012 Stanford Law Review Symposium, The Center for Internet and Society, Stanford University, February 2, 2012 (video quality of symposium poor, but discussion interesting and includes video of what’s possible to do with drones): http://www.c-span.org/Events/Panel-Discusses-Domestic-Drones-and-Privacy/10737429618 and https://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/multimedia/drones-privacy-paradox-privacy-and-its-conflicting-values-video
- The Impact of Domestic Drones on Privacy, Safety and National Security (Video), Brookings Institute, April 4, 2012: http://www.brookings.edu/events/2012/0404_domestic_drones.aspx
- Robots that fly…and cooperate (Video), Professor Vijay Kumar, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mathematics, GRASP Laboratory, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Pennsylvania, TEDtalks [YouTube], March 1, 2012: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ErEBkj_3PY and links to Kumar’s other YouTube videos:
- Acerman, Spenser. 2011. “Occupy the Skies! Protesters Could Use Spy Drones,” Wired Magazine, November 18, 2011: http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/11/ows-drones
- Ackerman, Evan. 2011. “Could Domestic Surveillance Drones Spur Tougher Privacy Laws?” IEEE Spectrum Blog, IEEE Website, December 19, 2011: http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/military-robots/could-domestic-surveillance-drones-spur-tougher-privacy-laws